State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2007VI85B
Title: Water Usage and Papaya Growth in Double-Row Systems Established During the Dry Season
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2007
End Date: 2/28/2008
Congressional District: VI
Focus Categories: Agriculture, Drought, Irrigation
Keywords: Papaya, drip irrigation, mulch, minority farmers
Principal Investigator: Zimmerman, Thomas W.
Federal Funds: $ 16,840
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 0
Abstract: Papayas, are a highly favored fruit of tropical regions. It is used when green as a vegetable and, when ripe, as a delicious fruit. When papayas are seen in the U.S. Virgin Islands marketplace, they are most often the result of costly imports. There is a great potential to satisfy the need for papayas by local farmers. However, to have papayas in production during the holidays and tourist season, papayas need to be established in late February or March. The normal dry season runs from February to September, therefore to have production during the peak demand; papayas need to be established during the dry season. The semiarid environment and cost of potable water from desalinization limits papaya production by the island population of small scale African-American and Hispanic farmers. The objectives of this research are to study the water requirements for establishing papaya during the dry season and incorporating drip irrigation and mulch for growing selected papaya varieties at multiple double-row spacing regimes. Specifically to integrate water conservation through drip irrigation and mulching into papaya production; to determine water use efficiency of papaya from multiple double-row plant spacing regimes; and to evaluate the effect of spacing and water usage on papaya growth and production.

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