A survey is being conducted in Australia to investigate the scope of consumer demand for Fiji Red papayas.
The research by the Pacific Agribusiness Research for Development Initiative is funded by the Australia Centre for International Agricultural Research.
Through the study, Fijian and Australian researchers will investigate the scope of consumer demand and preferences for specific red papaya varieties and pinpoint how best to raise the fruit's retail and export performance.
According to project representative, Nature's Way Co-operative Fiji Ltd research and extension manager, Kyle Stice, the papaya project follows the philosophy "consumer is king".
"Red papaya is not only incredibly healthy, it tastes great," he said.
"New research into Fijian and Australian papaya will pinpoint consumer preferences and potentially increase papaya consumption.
"PARDI and Nature's Way Co-operative envision that if the industry can better respond to the preferences and demands of consumers, this will lead to increases in papaya consumption and sustainable economic benefits for all industry stakeholders."
"Our researchers will conduct a range of studies to understand consumer preferences related to packaging, fruit size, appearance, taste, certification and branding and identify what a consumer is really looking for when they buy a papaya."