- Papaya production was 492,000 tonnes in 2014-15
- In 2018-19, the production stood at about 9 lakh tonnes
- Ripe papaya is sold at Tk50-60 per kg. Last year, the price was Tk80-110
- Green papaya is sold at Tk40-45 per kg in Dhaka market. Last year, it was Tk25-30
- Tangail has the highest production, followed by Bandarban
The production of papaya has almost doubled in the last five years as commercial farming of the fruit cum vegetable is on the rise across the country.
The country had produced 492,000 tonnes of papaya in 2014-15. In 2018-19, the production stood at about 9 lakh tonnes, according to the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE).
Papaya cultivation has gained popularity among farmers because of the availability of high yielding variety, fast and high yields as well as higher financial prospects.
Manjurul Alam, a papaya farmer in Patiya upazila of Chattogram, has planted 70 papaya saplings of Red Lady variety on 10 decimals of land. He hopes to harvest 700 kilogrammes of papaya from the garden with an average of 10 kg from each tree.
The maximum cost of per kg papaya is Tk20 and it is sold at Tk50-60, Manjurul said.
Shah Alam, papaya farmer of Singair upazila in Manikganj, said he spent Tk100 to Tk140 for each tree while he earned Tk1,000 per tree by selling green papaya.
Consumers are getting the benefits of increasing production. They can avail ripe papaya at a cheaper price. Ripe papaya is sold at Tk40-80 per kg in Dhaka city, depending on the size and markets. Last year, however, the price was a little higher, more than Tk100.
Although the price of ripe papaya as fruit is lower than last year, the price of green papaya as a vegetable has gone up a bit this year. Raw papaya is sold at Tk40-45 per kg in Dhaka market. Last year, the price was Tk25-30.
Traders said papaya is being used more as a vegetable than fruits.
Shamsul Alam, a trader of ripe papaya at Rampura Bazar, said, "The demand for ripe papaya is very low during winter, but its demand as a vegetable remains all year round."
DAE officials said Tangail has the highest production of papaya in the country, followed by Bandarban. About 2.50 lakh tonnes of papaya come from Tangail every year while the annual production is about 1.25 lakh tonnes in Bandarban. More or less papaya is produced all over the country.
Amanur Rahman, a papaya, guava and grapefruit vendor at Karwanbazar, said, "As the supply of papaya is more this year, the price is a bit low. Ripe papaya is sold at Tk50-60 per kg. Last year the price was Tk80-110."
As the supply of papaya is more this year, the price is a bit low. Ripe papaya is sold at Tk50-60 per kg. Last year the price was Tk80-110
DAE officials said two varieties of papaya are available in the country. The popular variety is called Shahi Papaya, invented by Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), and the name of the imported variety is Red Lady.
Earlier, seeds of Red Lady were only imported from Taiwan but now it is also being imported from China.
One Red Lady variety papaya weighs 1.5 to 2 kilogrammes while a Shahi papaya weighs from 850 grams to 1 kg.
Sabina Yasmin, an assistant horticulturist at DAE's Horticulture Wing, told The Business Standard, "Previously, people planted papaya saplings in their home garden for family use. At present, commercial farming of Papaya is on the rise."