Strengthening the Fiji papaya industry through applied research and information dissemination
This impact assessment reviews the outcomes and impacts of a project focused on strengthening the Fijian papaya industry, within the broader development goal of improving the livelihoods of rural people in Viti Levu.
At the time of the project commencement, Fiji was facing the demise of its sugar industry due to the phasing out of preferential access to the European Union sugar market. Urgent diversification of export and livelihood opportunities was required. The existing, but fragile, papaya production and export industry offered one of the most promising diversification avenues for small farmers. The ACIAR-funded papaya project worked to strengthen the local industry and improve livelihoods by customising papaya production techniques for the Fijian context.
The project delivered benefits to both the Fijian and Australian papaya industries. Factors contributing to project success included a strong commercial focus, a public-private partnership with Nature's Way Cooperative in Fiji, and a market orientation that included trial export shipments of Fiji Red papaya supplied by smallholders.