SOME of the obstacles to Fiji Red pawpaw production and industry expansion are frequent natural disasters, airfreight capacity constraints and post-harvest losses in the wet season.
Kyle Stice, Nature's Way Co-operative Limited research and extension officer, said despite it being very healthy in comparison to other fruit, papaya consumption had not achieved broad appeal.
A survey being conducted by Pacific Agribusiness Research for Development Initiative funded by Australia's Centre for International Agricultural Research to determine what consumers preferences were in terms of the colour, taste and size of papayas.
"Red papaya is renowned for its sweet flavour and papaya is incredibly healthy because the fruit is loaded with vitamins C, A and E and folate," he said.
"And yet global consumption and sale of papaya is not as high as other tropical fruit such as banana and pineapple.
"Fiji for example has significant scope to increase exports of its branded 'Fiji Red' papaya and the Australian industry would benefit considerably from a modernised profile and the development of overseas markets."
Apart from making breakthrough in the Australian market, the study also hopes to gather enough data to gauge what is needed to expand and significantly increase exports to New Zealand, Hong Kong and the US.