‘GMO’ is the abbreviation for ‘genetically modified organism’. There is some controversy about the GMO papaya owing to lack of awareness and education of the general public of the pros and cons of this type of genetic engineering. There is a lot resistance towards GMO papayas which would help to reduce import and thereby the cost of this popular fruit in countries where this tree cannot grow naturally. However, owing to negative attitude globally, the non-GMO papayas are preferred even though they come with higher price tag. The need of the day is creating awareness about the GM papaya and other crops; at the same time taking measures to protect farmers who continue to grow non-GMO papaya.
Tainung No 1
This is a variety that grows upto 36 inches (91 cms) tall. It flowers after about 218 days and the fruit can grow upto 2.2 pounds (1 kg) in weight. The inner flesh is normally bright orange and about 1 inch (2.3 cms) thick. This papaya GMO free variety is known to have moderate tolerance to ring spot virus. For most of the others, the trees succumb to the virus causing intense financial loses to the farmers.
The Solo Payaya
Introduced to Hawaii around 1911, this is one of the most common variety of papaya. In 1955, this variety was crossed with the Betty (or Bettina) papaya variety of Florida and the Dwarf Solo variety was born which has become a very popular commercial type of crop. This type does not have a male tree; it be either female and bi-sexual tree. The ripe fruit weighs about 400 to 800 gms, is pear-shaped and its flesh is light orange.
The Mexican Red Papaya
The fruit of this type of papaya tree is very sweet and has a red colored flesh. The tree thrives in locations that receive a lot of direct sun and the soil is well drained.
The Singapore Pink Papaya
This type of tree produces a large elongated fruit that weighs about 1 to 3 kgs. The trees of this variety of papaya are mainly bisexual, though a few are female also. The flesh is bright orange and very firm.
Introduced to Hawaii in 1974, the fruit of this tree is about 500 to 600 g, sweet, with dark yellow flesh. The shape of this fruit is pear shaped. This tree requires high rainfall or irrigation or the fruit remains underdeveloped.
- Market Outlook Report – Fresh Papays by Amy Pesante, June 2003, Honolulu
- Scientific American – Genetically Modified Hawaii by Robynne Boyd, December 2008
- Learn More About Hawaii Papaya – The Different Types Of Papaya
- Purdue University – Purdue Agriculture – Horticulture & Landscape Architecture – Papaya – Carica papaya L.