News » Padang Pariaman, West Sumatera, Papaya Cultivation: Won Over by Doubts

(adm/Oct 20, 2008)

Padang Pariaman District, West Sumatra where the farmers are familiar with papaya production were selected as the PTT location. Assessment of the farmers’ needs and responses were made before technology was introduced. In general, the farmers stuck to their old views, i.e. they prefer to plant the bigger size variety. Given the changing trend and pattern in the market demand for papaya, the PTT Team provided them with an alternative variety so that the farmers may consider it..

Ten farmers finally agreed to apply the technology package by setting up a pilot papaya plantation. Different varieties were planted such as a local variety requested by the farmers (Dampit) and two new varieties recommended by ITFRI i.e. Sekaki and Califoran. ITFRI continued to assist and guide the pilot papaya plantation development..

After seven (7) months, the program bore fruit and became successful. The farmers around the pilot location were very interested and enthusiastic when they saw for themselves the appearance of the papaya trees in the pilot plantation, in particular the small-fruit varieties that were abundant. However, they were not convinced of their marketability. Even so, they wish to learn more about the cultivation of the new papaya variety. The Sekaki and Califoran papaya varieties with their small and standard size were able to penetrate the local supermarkets at a price of Rp 3.500/kg. Meanwhile, the Dampit papaya can only be sold in the traditional markets at a price of Rp 50.000 – 100.000 per basket of 45-60 papayas. As supermarket demand for Sekaki and Califoran varieties continued to grow, the PTT was unfortunately not able to meet the demand due to its limited plantation area. Furthermore, Ir. Iwan Muas, MP, the PPT coordinator reported that the technology introduced by ITFRI increased the farmers’ profit from Rp 12 million/1000 plants to Rp 35 million/ 1000 plants.

More and more farmers are now eager to cultivate the new papayas. It now becomes the responsibility for Balitbu Tropika to provide or ensure that sufficient seeds of the Sekaki and Califoran varieties are available, including their hybrids that require special treatments.