PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES IN PAPAYA CULTIVATION: THE EXPERIENCE OF MALAYSIAN AGRIFOOD CORPORATION
The Malaysian Agrifood Corporation Berhad (MAFC) started its papaya business in December 2006 at the Permanent Food Production Park at Lanchang, Pahang about 100 km east of Kuala Lumpur. A variety called Frangi which is a new F1 hybrid with improved fruit storage was grown. At the start, a 1 ha seed garden was established to produce certified pure seed. A 15 ha model business farm was concurrently established to serve as a showcase to woo contract farmers, to act as a training centre for Good Agricultural Practices and to use the harvest for postharvest studies, promotion, branding and market testing. MAFC has since progressed from Model Farm status to commercial cultivation covering 200 ha with another 80 ha grown by contract farmers. The results have been very promising- the fruit is well accepted in the local mega stores and exports to Singapore, China and Middle East and EU countries have started. The Frangi hybrid, brand name Paiola was nominated for the Innovation Award 2009 at the Fruit Logistica in Berlin. The production standards have also been accepted by the Carrefour Quality Line (CQL) label. The challenges in commercial cultivation of papaya in Malaysia are primarily in the management of pest and disease including the bacteria dieback (Erwinia papaya), fruit brown blotch (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides), fruit fly (Bactrocera papaya) and oriental fruit scales (Aonidiella orientalis). Bacteria dieback is the most threatening disease without prophylactic measures for control. Management is through exclusion of the pathogen where the area is un-infected, and containment where the field is infected and spread is curbed by culling of infected trees. Growing papaya on very heavy clays with shallow impervious subsoil in Lanchang presents another challenge. Agronomic ameliorations such as raised beds are needed to make it suitable for papaya cultivation.
Chan, Y.K. and Baharuddin, A.G. (2012). PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES IN PAPAYA CULTIVATION: THE EXPERIENCE OF MALAYSIAN AGRIFOOD CORPORATION. Acta Hortic. 928, 59-64
Carica papaya, papaya industry, Malaysia, 'Paiola' papaya, pest and disease