Papaya production in the U.S. Virgin Islands is for the domestic market and has been plagued by the Papaya Ringspot Viras (PRSV) and seasonal hurricanes. This has resulted in papayas now being growing as an annual crop. The need exists in the U.S. Virgin Islands for papayas with early production to ensure a marketable crop within 9-10 months. The local demand is for papayas of the 1-1.5 kg size and this is considerably larger than the 0.25-0.5 kg solo varieties developed for export. Breeding and selection has been ongoing for 7 years to develop papayas with tolerance to PRSV and fruit production starting at or less than 1 m from the ground. The height at first fruit set, of papaya cultivars evaluated in the Virgin Islands, ranges from 60 cm to 253 cm. Generally, female plants start setting fruit lower on the stem than hermaphroditic plants. Through breeding and selection, 3 papaya lines have been developed which set fruit between 40 and 60 cm from the ground. These low bearing papaya lines produce fruit that are marketable one month earlier than other cultivars.


Downloads Statistics

Download Full History