Dr. Azhar Iqbal gave a presentation to the participants on the government project for the diagnosis and treatment of viral diseases of papaya.

Papaya fruit is sufficiently resistant to illnesses like cancer and hepatitis, among others, and their cultivation can also assist farmers in overcoming financial difficulties, claims Malik Allah Bakhsh, chief scientist of the horticulture division at the Ayub Agriculture Research Institute (AARI).

He mentioned that papaya, a fruit native to South America, was introduced to Pakistan due to its remarkably beneficial effects on human health while speaking at a one-day seminar on “Promotion of Successful Papaya Cultivation.”

He claimed that certain elements in this fruit were effective against hepatitis, cancer, and other diseases. Progressive farmers became very interested in growing it as a result, and they were making between Rs. 1 million and Rs. 1.5 million per acre in revenue from its harvest every year.

He asserted that more than 10,000 acres of papaya were grown in the province’s central districts, including Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh, Lahore, Sheikhupura, Sahiwal, and Okara, after papaya cultivation was initially established in Pakistan’s coastal regions, particularly Thatta, Badin, Makran, and Lasbela.

He claimed that papaya was a very good source of minerals and vitamins A, C, and E. Because of the abundance of more than 50 enzymes in this fruit, eating papaya fruit had a significant impact on human health. He claimed that papaya contained natural compounds that were extremely beneficial for treating a wide range of human diseases, including cancer, hepatitis, and various stomach issues.

He said and urged the scientists and field staff of the agriculture department to provide necessary guidance and training to the farming community to cultivate papaya at maximum space in their lands. He said the government was concentrating on promoting papaya cultivation in Pakistan, especially in Sindh and Punjab, due to its immense qualities and growing market demand.

In this regard, AARI scientists were already utilising all tools at their disposal to encourage papaya farming in Pakistan. He added that other agricultural departments should play an active part in promoting papaya cultivation as well.

Dr. Azhar Iqbal, chief scientist of the Department of Plant Diseases, gave a presentation to the participants on the government project for the diagnosis and treatment of viral diseases of papaya. He explained that the government was investing a significant amount of Rs. 20 million in this project, which involved testing the leaves and fruits of infected plants from farmers’ fields.

According to the advice of agri scientists, the farmers were also providing technical training and direction to control papaya diseases, he continued. According to Senior Scientist Muaz Aziz of the Horticulture Department, farmers in Pakistan have increased their income by more than Rs. 150 million as a result of growing high-value crops and fruits, particularly papaya.