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 north 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 south-east 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.

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

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.

The Exotic Pest Identification and Surveillance Guide for Tropical Horticulture was developed with funding from the Australia Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Inspecting crops for signs of new pests is one way growers can protect Australia’s plant industries from exotic pests, as early detection and reporting improves the chances of successfully containing or eradicating new pests. The guide is in two sections:

• Biosecurity and surveillance
• Identification of key exotic pests.

The Maximise your papaya crop with better pollination brochure, produced by PHA working with Plant and Food Research NZ and Hort Innovation, brings together the science on best-practice for pollination in one place and provides clear steps for growers to assess their pollination during flowering to reduce the risk of pollination failure.

Many growers in Australia rely heavily on the free pollination services offered by wild or unmanaged European honey bees. But honey bees are not always the best pollinator for a crop.

Additional pollination information

Papaya – Pollination aware fact sheet, Agrifutures Australia

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 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 DP DP
Fijian fruit fly Bactrocera passiflorae FS DP DP
Melon fruit fly Zeugodacus cucurbitae FS DP DP
Oriental fruit fly Bactrocera dorsalis 2 FS FS FS FS FS FS FS DP DP
Papaya mealy bug Paracoccus marginatus FS CP
Bactrocera tuberculata Bactrocera tuberculata DP DP
Coconut bug Amblypelta cocophaga FS
Fruit tree mealybug Rastrococcus invadens
Root knot nematode Meloidogyne enterolobii syn. Meloidogyne mayaguensis 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 DP
Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata FS DP
Peach fruit fly Bactrocera zonata FS DP
Queensland fruit fly Bactrocera tryoni FS DP
Western flower thrips Frankliniella occidentalis FS
Papaya fly Anastrepha curvicauda (syn. Toxotrypana curvicauda) FS DP
Mushy canker Erwinia spp.