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Historical document

Study tour to investigate production practices of papayas in Brazil, April 2005 (PP04003)

Key research provider: Australian Papaya Industry Association Ltd
Publication date: May, 2005

This is a final research report from Hort Innovation’s historical archives. Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.

What was it all about?

The papaya industry currently suffered from limited consumer satisfaction. The industry struggled to produce papaya of a consistent quality all year round. This was primarily due to two things, lack of a commercially acceptable variety that also had good production characteristics and the impact of pest and diseases. In contrast Brazil was the world’s largest producer of papaya producing in excess of 1.5 million tones annually. They produce papaya for both the domestic and export markets.

The Australian papaya industry invested heavily into the area of research and development however had never before visited another country to see first hand their industry. It was expected that two outcomes from the tour would be access to new varieties and better management practices for phytophthora. This study tour to Brazil was also the first time another country had visited the papaya industry in Brazil. The tour was 9 days and included visits to farms, packing sheds, research stations, a central market and also a chemical collection centre. The farms visited included some of the most advance and progressive producers in their industry.

In terms of production, Australian producers were not behind Brazilian producers. Disease problems were similar for both countries with the exception of two viruses that effect Brazil, Ring Spot Virus and Da Meleira. Australian producers were actually more advanced than the domestic producers in Brazil. The export producers in Brazil however were of a very high standard in terms of both quality and mechanization.

In terms of varieties there were three main varieties produced in Brazil, Sunrise Solo, Golden Solo and Tainung 1. These were grown in Australia at the time, however only consisted of a small production area. In terms of phytophthora management Brazil’s climate means that phytophthora was not a major problem. Australia producers actually incorporate better management practices for this disease, as it was such a problem. However Brazil had chemicals registered for the management of phytophthora that the Australian industry was still trying to either register or gather more data on.

The main areas that Australia producers could learn from the Brazilians was presentation of fruit post harvest and attention to detail in the paddock in terms of irrigation and nutrition practices. The consumption rate of papaw and papaya was also something that needed to be addressed at an industry level. Unfortunately the chemical treatments that they applied for pests and diseases could not be replicated here in Australia, as we did not have all of these chemicals registered.

Tour participants gained a great deal of information during this tour and found it to be a very valuable experience. All information was being transferred back to the industry.


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Funding statement:
This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with the financial support of AgTour Australia Pty Ltd as agent.

Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2005. The Final Research Report (in part or as whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation (except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)).