Grower-owned body Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) has invested A$330,000 into a Griffith University research project on Australia’s papaya industry.
The research will look at quality, yield, colour, flavour and sweetness of papayas, and will work in consultation with the papaya industry to develop new varieties and boost domestic consumption and export opportunities.
“This new research will see varieties developed that are tailor-made for north Queensland, which produces 90 per cent of the Australia’s annual output of more than 6.5 tonnes. These new varieties will feature a consistent yield, flesh colour and sweet flavour, year-round,” John Lloyd, CEO of Hort Innovation, said.
New cultivars will evaluated to produce a premium, high-quality papaya that is resistant to the papaya ringspot virus, which was detected in south east Queensland in the 1990s but has not been detected in north Queensland.
“Once developed, these resistant papaya varieties will also have the capacity to benefit other countries affected by Papaya Ringspot Virus including the US, parts of Europe, Asia, the Middle East and South America,” Lloyd said.
Hort Innovation expects the research to be completed in 2019.