Papaya is one of the most important fruit crop intensively grown in India. If the crop is managed properly and high amount of plant nutrient in balanced proportion are added, very high yield and profit can be obtained. But many farmers are unaware and lack the knowledge of papaya cultivation.
To bridge this gap in the areas of Hubli – Dharwad, Papaya Plantation initiative is implemented by Sandbox ecosystem with the support of Ratan Tata Trust. The foundation works with farmers to encourage the production of Papaya as a commercial crop. This involves motivating non-Papaya farmers to look beyond traditional cash crops and dedicate part of their land for Papaya cultivation. The program has proven successful in boosting productivity and stabilizing revenues for the farmer.
Vijaykumar Kuratti is one such farmer who was benefited by Papaya Plantation. Vijay grew wheat, jowar, and rice in his 9 acres of land situated in Hallikeri in Navalgund taluk of Dharwad district. When the Sandbox team visited the farms of Hallikeri and briefed farmers about the benefits of papaya plantation, Vijaykumar got interested. He planted 1000 Papaya plants in his one acre of land in 2014.
He spent INR 56,000 in cultivation and earned profits of INR 1,93,000 from a yield of 140 ton per acre. In comparison, he earned a mere INR 10,000 from two acres of wheat cultivation and INR 10,000 from an acre of Jowar cultivation. Papaya fetched him a good market price of INR 12/kg.
Like Vijay, 27 farmers are profitably growing papaya covering around 50 acres of land. So far, the production has reached to 200 tons doubling the overall revenue generated.