From hobby to profit: Man gets RM20,000 monthly through papaya cultivation

Considering the potential and high demand, he had the courage to venture into the commercial cultivation of papaya.

HAZELEN LIANA KAMARUDIN
HAZELEN LIANA KAMARUDIN
03 Feb 2024 01:00pm
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PASIR PUTEH - The father of seven children in Kampung Lepah, Selising, Pasir Puteh, never expected that his papaya cultivation hobby would yield a substantial income, reaching up to RM20,000 per month.

Mohamed Omar, 66, stated he started planting Callina papayas, around 30 trees, in 2019 during his leisure time.

"I was surprised when the papayas, which have thick flesh, red colour and a pleasant aroma, gained high demand when I started selling them to the public.

"I struggle to meet customer demand," he said when met by reporters recently.

According to the former contractor, considering the potential and high demand, he had the courage to venture into the commercial cultivation of papaya.

He stressed that starting with only 30 trees, he now has over 2,500 planted on 1.6 hectares of land.

Mohamed said that in March, he would be assisted by his son in cultivating an additional 1.6 hectares for papaya cultivation.

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"So far, the demand for papayas is very high, but the supply is limited.

"Although I can produce 1,000 kilogrammes (kg) per day, it still cannot meet the local market," he said.

Mohamed said the high demand was due to the lack of competition from those engaged in commercial papaya cultivation.

Moreover, he operated his stall located near his orchard, selling papayas at RM10 for three kg.

He stated that cultivating papaya was not difficult but required knowledge as it often faced the risk of diseases, especially during the monsoon season or heavy rain.

"If the weather is hot and dry, the fruit's content and quality will be better. However, it still requires sufficient water.

"Rain will cause papayas to deteriorate quickly. In February last year, I suffered significant losses of tens of thousands of ringgit when the plants were submerged in water," he said.

Mohamed said that papaya trees could survive up to three years and could be revived.

He added that they were suitable to be planted in all types of soil except sandy soil, and one tree could produce about 40 fruits at a time.

"Throughout the year, a single tree can produce approximately 120 fruits. Alhamdulillah, with the help of RISDA (Small Rubber Plantation Development Authority), I want to expand this cultivation.

"I am also willing to share my expertise with anyone interested in getting into papaya cultivation," Mohamed said.