Intercropping With Sugarcane: Farmers must try Papaya and Sugarcane co-cropping
Sugarcane and papaya are disease-resistant to each other, both like the same soil and irrigation.
Like sugarcane, papaya is also a cash crop. The demand for papaya is continuously increasing. Given this, agricultural scientists have advised the Purvanchal and Bihar of Uttar Pradesh farmers to cultivate papaya and sugarcane in autumn. Intercropping with sugarcane proves to be very beneficial for the farmers.
It takes 11 to 12 months for the sugarcane crop to be ready. Meanwhile, if farmers plant other crops with sugarcane, they get a good income. Papaya crop can be prepared quickly and takes up a little space in the sugarcane field. That’s why growing papaya along with sugarcane gives double benefits.
Uttar Pradesh is the country’s largest sugarcane-producing state. Many other crops are also planted along with sugarcane. But three-four years ago, agricultural scientists from ICAR-Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research, Lucknow, went to the north-eastern state of Mizoram. They saw that the farmers were excellently cultivating papaya and sugarcane. Due to this, there was a bumper increase in their income. Until then, the cultivation of papaya and sugarcane was less popular among the farmers of Uttar Pradesh. However, there was a substantial demand for papaya in the state. To compensate for this, papaya was supplied from the states of Bihar, Bengal, Maharashtra, and South India.
Upbeat results found in Purvanchal
When the agricultural scientists of Uttar Pradesh Sugarcane Development Institute decided to try cultivating papaya and sugarcane in the state, they first experimented in a tiny area in Ghazipur, Ballia, Deoria, Mau, and Azamgarh districts. Seeing its encouraging results, the unique and scientific method of ‘papaya cultivation with sugarcane’ was propounded. According to this, Purvanchal of Uttar Pradesh has an abundance of loamy and sandy soil. Such soil is suitable for sugarcane and very beneficial for papaya.
Benefits of Papaya with Sugarcane
According to agricultural scientists, sugarcane and papaya plants are disease-resistant to each other. That’s why if there is an outbreak of diseases on one crop, then there is a high possibility of its effect on the other. Therefore, as soon as the signs of any disease appear, it should be treated seriously.
But on the other hand, like sugarcane, papaya cultivation also likes a lot of water. The weather of Purvanchal is also very suitable for papaya crops. Papaya seeds of advanced variety is selected. To prepare the field scientifically before sowing papaya.
Scientific Cultivation of Papaya with Sugarcane
Sowing time: The plant is generally planted in June-July. Areas where irrigation system is good, it is also planted in September and October.
Improved Varieties: Some improved varieties of papaya are – Madhu, Honey, Pusa Delicious, Pusa Dwarf, Pusa Nanha, CO-7 and PK-10.
Seed rate: 125 grams of seed per acre is sufficient for planting seedlings of improved breeds.
Seed treatment: Before sowing, seeds should be treated with capton at the rate of 3 grams per kg.
Planting: For preparing papaya plants in the nursery, the seeds should be sown at a depth of 2 cm in the soil. It should be at a distance of 15 cm from each other. When the papaya plants grow to about one and a half feet high, then they should be planted in the sugarcane field at a distance of two and a half to three meters from each other in such a way that the sugarcane crop does not face any problem in getting sunlight and other nutrients.
Fertilizers: At the time of planting papaya plants, 500 grams of ammonium sulfate, single super phosphate and potassium sulfate should be given to each plant. It should be in the ratio of 2:4 along with well decomposed cow dung manure.
Disease control: Leaf curl and mosaic are the main diseases of papaya. To avoid this, as soon as the papaya plant grows up, Malathion and E.C. Should be sprayed mixed with water.
Yield of papaya with sugarcane: If papaya is co-cropped with sugarcane by adopting the above methods, then on an average 40 kg yield is obtained from each papaya tree. This yield ranges from 200 to 250 quintals per acre.
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