Harvesting And Storage


  • Papaya fruits mature their first fruit in 10-14 months from the time the plants are set in the orchard.
  • Production of fruits is continuous during the life of the tree.
  • Harvest the fruits when they are still hard and green but slightly turn yellow.
  • Pick the fruits by giving a careful twist with the hand.
  • Take care to avoid bruising or splitting of the skin white picking.
  • Yield ranges from 50-75 tonnes per acre.
  • Papaya tree may live as long as 15 to 20 years and reach a height of more than 8 metres, but its economical life is only 2-3 years.
  • In the first crop the fruits are borne on the trunk so low as to be easy reach for picking.
  • As the tree grows taller and is more advanced in age, the crop becomes sparse in fruiting, and the fruits are borne at greater height on the trunk.
  • After 3 years, the growth slows down and the fruits and leaves diminish in size.
  • At this stage, remove the plant as it will be uneconomical to maintain it any longer.



  • Store the fruits in single layers in straw until they get a beautiful orange colour and become uniformly soft all over the surface of the skin.
  • For distant transport pack the fruits in single-layer fibre board containers with packing materials between the fruits.
  • Store the fruits to be consumed locally in a single layer of straw until they become yellow.
  • Storage below 10oC has been known to cause chilling injuries.
  • Papaya ripens satisfactorily between 20o and 25oC while temperature above 32.2oC caused delayed ripening, copious latex oozing and fruit surface bronzing.
  • Controlled-atmosphere storage (2% O2and 98% N2) at 10oC has been found to extend the storage-life by a few days.
  • Use polymeric films, waxes and other surface coating (TAL Prolong, Fresh Mark Wax 51 v) to extend the storage-life of papaya.