See how the papaya levy is hard at work! Scroll down to learn about Hort Innovation’s current investment of the industry levy, and results from these investments, in the R&D and marketing snapshots – or click on a project name below to go straight to a specific update. Also look for the ‘ACT NOW’ tag to easily identify project resources ready to use.

All projects are funded by Hort Innovation using the papaya R&D or marketing levy and, in the case of R&D, contributions from the Australian Government.


Don’t forget to grab the Papaya Fund Annual Report

Released at the start of November, Hort Innovation’s Papaya Fund Annual Report sums up all levy investments and activities from 2016/17. You can download a copy here, or head to Hort Innovation’s Annual Report Portal to place an order for a free hard copy of the report.

What research do you want to see?

As always, Hort Innovation encourages all growers and industry participants to share their thoughts and ideas for the research they want to see – whether that’s within the industry-specific Papaya Fund (where research is funded by grower levies and Australian Government contributions), or within Hort Innovation’s strategic partnership initiative, Hort Frontiers (where research is funded through partnerships with co-investors).

Watch this video to see how ideas are collected and grown into projects, then submit your suggestions for new projects here.

Get closer to your investments with free membership

Hort Innovation membership brings you closer to the investment activities and results in your levy fund, and to the organisation as a whole. As well as providing the opportunity for voting rights at the company’s Annual General Meeting, membership helps you connect with your industry’s Relationship Manager, sends Hortlink straight to your inbox for first-look access, provides exclusive Grower Intel alerts with industry-specific news and opportunities, and more.

Paying a levy doesn’t automatically make you a member, so read more here and sign up now!

Find resources on the Hort Innovation Papaya Fund page…

Along with Hortlink, Hort Innovation’s webpage for papaya levy payers is a great source of info. On it you’ll find:

  • Key documents including the Papaya Strategic Investment Plan (SIP) for 2017-2021, released earlier in 2017, and the Papaya Fund Annual Report
  • The latest meeting notes from the papaya Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP), which most recently met on November 17, 2017 in Cairns, and is due to meet again during April 2018.
  • Current financial documents regarding your levy, including operating statements and expenditure summaries for R&D and marketing projects
  • Grower resources, events and articles of interest to the industry.
Any questions?

Hort Innovation Relationship Manager Bradley Mills is always available to answer questions or provide info on the Papaya Fund program. He can be reached on 0408 635 465 or at



Australian papaya industry communication program

Status: New project

Key research provider: Cox Inall Communications

What’s it all about? Established in September, this new program is responsible for keeping Australian papaya growers and other industry stakeholders informed about key industry issues and the latest R&D and marketing activities and results in a timely way. The ultimate goal is to facilitate the uptake of new information, technologies and practices – in turn helping growers forge more productive, profitable and resilient businesses.

What’s the latest update? Once in full swing, the program will produce and maintain key communication channels, including…

  • A new biannual magazine, Papaya Press, which will be sent as a hard copy to the Papaya Australia database and will also be available to access online. The first edition is due to be released in the first months of 2018.
  • The industry-facing section of the website.
Tropical fruit export strategy

Status: New project

Key research provider: McKINNA et al

What’s it all about? This short multi-industry project will support the building of sustainable export markets and supply chain capabilities for a range of tropical commodities, including papaya, banana, lychee, passionfruit and persimmon. It has been tasked with developing a collective export strategy for these fruits – a road map for growing export markets, underpinned by information on each high-prospect market for each fruit category.

What’s the latest update? This investment was contracted by Hort Innovation in November. Look for information on the completed strategy in future editions of Hortlink and in industry channels.

New genetic targets to improve quality in papaya

Status: Ongoing project

Key research provider: Griffith University

What’s it all about? With a focus on improving the quality of Australian papaya and producing elite, uniform cultivars, this project began in 2016 to assist breeding now and in the near-future, and to support industry development. It has five key sub-projects:

  • Breeding to improve flavour and other important traits in commercial papaya
  • Collection of papaya germplasm and the development of a related database, to provide a resource to increase the genetic base of Australian papaya
  • Molecular studies to assist breeding for papaya
  • Papaya ringspot virus type P (PRSV-P) resistance work
  • The employment of an industry development officer (IDO), who is responsible for carrying out the other sub-project work and for working closely with growers, researchers and other industry stakeholders.

What’s the latest update? While no official project update was due to Hort Innovation in the period since the last Hortlink, at the time of last reporting a new publication created by the project, the Handbook of Papaya Evaluation: Productivity and Fruit Quality Traits, had been released, and remains available for industry use. The handbook represents the development of a standard, reliable protocol for growers, breeders and researchers to evaluate papaya tree productivity and fruit quality. It includes easy-reference images and information describing key traits, and how to measure them.

Look for an update in future editions but, as per the last Hortlink, a quick outline of other ongoing work in the project:

  • In regard to breeding, the project continues to work towards producing red and yellow papaya with improved eating qualities and fruit yield, adapted to multiple growing regions. In February 2016, a number of yellow papaya breeding lines were planted, with superior selections since identified for further evaluation. With red papaya, there are plantings of elite selections at multiple locations, that are set to be evaluated for quality traits at set intervals over the season.
  • The collection and evaluation of germplasm of commercial papaya varieties from Australia and other countries has occurred, and there has been field planting of germinated seeds from this material. The trees are to be evaluated for fruit quality and yield traits, to determine varietal performance at each trial location. At the time of last reporting, more seeds were being sourced from Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, India and Hawaii.
  • In molecular studies, the project team is seeking to identify genes related to traits of key importance in papaya breeding. Here, sweetness – as core component of flavour – has been selected for study, with the team continuing mapping and identifying genes related to the expression of sugars in varieties of the fruit.
  • In working towards improving RSVP-P resistance, crossing work has attempted to transfer traits from disease-resistant germplasm to new papaya crosses, which are planted for evaluation at Griffith University. As reported in earlier Hortlinks, work to evaluate these plants after inoculation with the virus continues.
  • In regards to industry development work, IDO Chat Kanchana-udomkan most recently facilitated the Papaya Field Day & Technology Day 2017, held during September in Mareeba.


Download the Handbook of Papaya Evaluation here. For questions relating to the project or to engage with papaya industry’s IDO, contact Chat Kanchana-udomkan at or on 0459 494 383.

Papaya industry minor use program

Status: Ongoing project

Key research provider: Hort Innovation

What’s it all about? Through this project, levy funds and Australian Government contributions are used to renew and apply for new minor use permits for the papaya industry. These submissions are prepared and submitted to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).

What’s the latest update? All current minor use permits for the industry are searchable at Permit updates are also circulated in Hort Innovation’s Growing Innovation e-newsletter, which levy-paying members receive monthly. Not a member? Sign up to our membership program for free here.



Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the papaya marketing levy into a range of activities to grow awareness and consumption, under the Hort Innovation Papaya Fund.

The papaya industry marketing program’s main activity is focused on social media efforts. The ‘always on’ approach ensures that fresh, boutique content to share with the industry’s 24,300 Facebook followers is on hand, when and where it’s needed. Results in the last quarter included an engagement rate of 8.5 per cent, and a reach of over 250,000 consumers. Page growth, or real papaya consumers following the page, has been steadily growing at three per cent each quarter.

The marketing program also saw Australian Papayas showcasing at the Essential Baby and Toddler Show, held in Darling Harbour in late September. More than 17,600 visitors attended the show and more than 1100 papaya samples and nutritional information leaflets were handed out. The demographic fell directly into the target audience, including 46 per cent who were pregnant, 34 per cent who had a baby 0-12 months, 22 per cent who had a toddler aged 13-36 months, and 13 per cent who had a child over three years old.

At the time of writing, Hort Innovation was appointing a delivery partner for in-store demonstrations and events for the remainder of the financial year, with updates to follow in an upcoming Hortlink.

The new calendar year will see the development of engaging papaya collateral, with an update of all current assets, including 12 new recipes. Baby expos will also feature, with Sydney and Brisbane shows on the radar. As well, consumer research has been flagged to be conducted early in the new calendar year to help determine strategic direction for the marketing program going forward.

For any questions relating to the Papaya Fund marketing activities, contact Hort Innovation Marketing Manager Craig Perring at

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