November 28, 2012

Major turnaround for local papaya industry

November 28, 2012 12:49:40 PM

Fiji’s Papaya Industry is slowly recovering in the aftermath of two consecutive floods early this year and the Papaya Disorder in August after 500kg of papaya was exported to New Zealand last weekend.

Papaya exports had plummeted as a result of two major floods from 50 tonnes in December 2011 to less than 1 tonne in April 2012.

In August, Biosecurity Authority of Fiji had to temporarily halt papaya exports as a standard precautionary biosecurity measure after identifying a disorder affecting plants in the Sigatoka area.

BAF chief executive Elvis Silvestrini said holding of papaya exports was one of the standard measures taken by BAF amongst others to prevent the spread of the papaya disorder.

“BAF identified a papaya disorder in certain backyard gardens and farms in the Sigatoka area and as a result our teams conducted surveys on the farms as well as the papaya plants in backyard gardens in the area. We did find signs that pointed towards a papaya disorder,” Silvestrini said.

“The cultures had been sent overseas for analysis and authentication but the good news is that the disorder is localised, traceable and not a threat to exports. The papaya industry is now bouncing back and last weekend we exported 500kg of papaya to New Zealand,” he said.

According to Silvestrini, BAF has also received reports from industry that about 200 acres of papaya will be maturing by this December which will not only increase the local supply but also boost exports.

By Indrani Krishna

Copyright 2012 ©

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