Papaya

Papaya (Carica papaya), also known as paw paw, is popularly grown in the tropics and is adapted to diverse soils and climates. The fruit has a sweet taste and good flavours, and is high in vitamin C and other nutrients. Unripe fruits can be cooked as a vegetable much like a summer squash or used in cubes for salads. This fruit has the potential to dominate the domestic and international markets  because it is used both as a table fruit and in its green form, the latter intended as a processing raw material. According to the study “Developing an Action Plan for Promotion of a Regional Agribusiness Sector and Targeted Commodity Enterprise” – Landell Mills Development Consultants, 2011, imports of papaya to the region were recorded at 0.2 million kg whereas exports amounted to 65.1 million kg with the major exporting country being Belize which accounted for 98.1% of the quantity exported. Barbados, the Bahamas and Antigua and Barbuda were the major importers during the period 2004 – 2008 with imports of 83.2, 81.5 and 15.7 thousand ks respectively. The Competitiveness and Industry Development Strategy (Sing, R.H., Seepersaud, G and Rankine, L. B. - January 2007) commissioned by the CARICOM Regional Transformation Programme for Agriculture on Papaya found that the regional demand for Papaya remains undersupplied with respect to its various uses. Papaya is viewed as an exotic fruit and given the strong preference for Papaya as a fruit by the local population as well as the Tourism sector, the potential and opportunities of the regional market are tremendous. The study also found that the USA and the European Union dominates global imports, accounting for 38% and 33% respectively with Canada importing a relatively smaller quantity, accounting for 5% of global imports in value terms. Although opportunities exist in these markets, The USA is clearly the most important market for CARICOM producers to target given the size of the market (USD 58.3 M), growth trends and close proximity. The size of the European Union market is estimated at USD 59 M. Within the EU, the United Kingdom Market is the most attractive for CARICOM exporters on account of the higher level of demand in comparison to other EU countries and transportation logistics and cost. Canada also

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