Papaya

Papaya industryPapaya Australia represents the biosecurity interests of papaya producers and the industry. Their responsibilities include:

  • biosecurity planning and implementation at the national and farm levels
  • liaising with federal and state governments on trade issues
  • funding and supporting biosecurity initiatives.

Industry overview

Papayas (Carica papaya) are predominately grown in Northern Queensland on the wet tropics of far north Queensland (Innisfail) and the Mareeba district on the Atherton Tablelands west of Cairns. Other growing areas in Queensland include Proserpine and Yarwun in Central Queensland, Gympie and the Sunshine Coast district in SE Queensland. Other commercial production areas include Carnarvon, Kununurra in north Western Australia, the Darwin rural area in the Northern Territory and northern NSW.

Papaya fruit is produced as either red fleshed fruit from hermaphrodite trees, which the industry label as papaya or larger yellow fleshed fruit from dioecious trees which the industry label as pawpaw. Papaya trees have multiple sources of pollination (eg bees, hawkmoths etc) and some cultivars are self-pollinating. Pawpaws make up approximately 60 per cent of the total production with the remainder of production based on red fleshed varieties. The crop is harvested and available all year round and can be purchased nationally from all major supermarkets and smaller independent fruit markets.

The value of Australian papaya production was estimated at $20 million in 2005–06 season, with $18.4M from Nth Queensland, $1.2M from Western Australia and the Northern Territory and $0.4M from central Queensland and SE Queensland. Industry R,D & E issues are dealt with by the national association Papaya Australia in association with HAL. Papaya growers contribute a levy of 2c/kg for fresh fruit (24c per 12kg carton) for R&D and marketing.

Industry production plummeted (1,036,109 cartons in 2005–06 to 561,377 cartons in 2006–07) following Cyclone Larry in March 2006 which decimated the industry which was then predominately located on the Wet Tropical coast around Innisfail. Atherton Tableland producers quickly responded with increased production and now produce in excess of 50% of the production in far north Queensland. Current production is estimated at around 1.3 million cartons worth approximately $25M per annum. Whilst there are around 80-100 papaya growers, the bulk of production is dominated by a few larger growers.

From a biosecurity perspective, only 17 businesses are registered to move papayas interstate. There are also a number of growers that sell produce in roadside stalls, and many papaya trees are located in backyards across northern Australia.

Papaya IBPIndustry Biosecurity Plan for the Papaya Industry

Biosecurity planning provides a mechanism for the papaya industry, government and other relevant stakeholders to assess current biosecurity practices and future biosecurity needs. Planning identifies procedures that can be put in place to reduce the chance of pests reaching our borders or minimise the impact if a pest incursion occurs.

The Industry Biosecurity Plan for the Papaya Industry outlines key threats to the industry, risk mitigation plans, identification and categorisation of exotic pests and contingency plans. For a copy, please contact PHA on 02 6215 7700 or email admin@phau.com.au

Biosecurity Manual for the Papaya IndustryBiosecurity Manual for the Papaya Industry

The Biosecurity Manual for the Papaya Industry contains information to help producers to implement biosecurity on-farm. Manuals usually contain an overview of biosecurity, fact sheets to identify the high priority pests of a crop, tips on crop management, and how to manage people, vehicles and equipment to minimise biosecurity risks. Manuals also contain a biosecurity self-assessment list, and templates to record pest surveillance records and visitors.

More information about on-farm biosecurity for both plant and livestock producers is available from the Farm Biosecurity website.

Exotic pests (not in Australia)

The following is a list of high priority exotic pests of papaya. These pests were identified during the development of the Industry Biosecurity Plan for the Papaya Industry in consultation with industry, government and scientists. They have been assessed as high priority pests based on their potential to enter, establish, and spread in Australia (eg environmental factors, host range, vectors) and the cost to industry of control measures.

PHA has a range of fact sheets, contingency plans and diagnostic protocols relevant to these pests. Pest risk review documents are also available for some pests. Please contact PHA on 02 6215 7700 or email admin@phau.com.au for more information.

Endorsed National Diagnostic Protocols are available from the National Plant Biosecurity Diagnostic Network webpage.

Common name Scientific name EPPRD Category Fact sheet Contingency plan Diagnostic protocol
Bacterial crown rot Erwinia papayae FS CP
Carambola fruit fly Bactrocera carambolae FS FS FS FS
Fijian fruit fly (Bactrocera passiflorae) Bactrocera passiflorae FS
Melon fruit fly Bactrocera cucurbitae FS
Mushy canker Erwinia spp.
Oriental fruit fly Bactrocera dorsalis 2 FS FS FS FS FS FS
Papaya fly Toxotrypana curvicauda FS
Papaya fruit fly Bactrocera papayae 2 FS FS FS FS
Papaya mealy bug Paracoccus marginatus FS CP
Philippine fruit fly Bactrocera philippinensis 2 FS

Other pests

The following is a list of documents for other exotic and endemic pests of papaya. Please note that this is not a complete list of papaya pests: rather it includes pests for which documents exist in the Pest Information Document Database.

Some of the documents presented here are not  tailored to the papaya industry and are included for information only.

Common name Scientific name EPPRD Category Fact sheet Contingency plan Diagnostic protocol
Banana spider mite Tetranychus piercei 4 FS FS
Cassava spider mite Tetranychus truncatus FS
Citrus blackfly Aleurocanthus woglumi FS
Coconut bug Amblypelta cocophaga FS
Cotton aphid Aphis gossypii (exotic strains) FS
Fruit fly (Bactrocera occipitalis) Bactrocera occipitalis FS
Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata FS
Peach fruit fly Bactrocera zonata FS
Queensland fruit fly Bactrocera tryoni FS
Western flower thrips Frankliniella occidentalis FS