The papaya is one of the most popular tropical fruits.

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The papaya (Carica Papaya L.) is a tropical fruit plant originally from Southern Mexico, Central America, and Northern South America and is now grown in most tropical countries.

Papaya plants grow in three sexes: male, female, and hermaphrodite. The male produces only pollen, never fruit. The female produces small, inedible fruits unless pollinated. The hermaphrodite can self-pollinate since its flowers contain both male stamens and female ovaries. Almost all commercial papaya orchards contain only hermaphrodites.

Papaya is grown for its melon-like fruit and is a herbaceous short-lived perennial. Papaya trees can typically live for 5-10 years, but in commercial plantings, they are replanted every 2-3 years as the trees become too tall for harvesting.


The papaya is one of the most popular tropical fruits and, due to its shorter life span, can be an excellent crop for intercropping in new coconut plantations.

Malaysia Papaya

Year Planted Area (Ha) Production (Tonnes)
2014 2,771 55,358
2015 2,838 60,625
2016 4,334 65,967
2017 3,219 83,797
2018 2,239 52,917
2019 2,529 53,681

source: Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries, Malaysia

According to the Malaysian Department of Statistics 2019, consumption of banana per capita was 1.0 kg and Malaysia had a Self Sufficiency Ratio (SSR) of 153.1%.

The Malaysian Agriculture Department has focused on papaya as one of the tropical fruits to increase production to meet export needs. The value of Malaysia’s tropical fruit exports increased from RM821.5 million in 2015 to RM1.124 billion in 2018, an increase of 12.29% per annum.

“Malaysian fruits such as durian, jackfruit, papaya, watermelon, banana, mangosteen and rambutan have great potential for export, especially to China, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Australia, the Middle East, Europe, and the United States.”

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry I Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah.

Export value of Malaysia’s tropical fruits on the rise — Ahmad Hamzah | Borneo Post Online (