Papaya Production

We are really passionate about our fruit, but especially about Papaya.

Is there a difference between Papaya and Paw-Paw?

No. The old “Hortus Gold” variety, which had yellow, smelly flesh, used to be called Paw-Paw. The Papaya we know today has beautiful red sweet flesh, but Papaya is still sometimes referred to as Paw-Paw. It is actually the same thing!

Ever noticed that the Papaya trees in your backyard either produce round fruit, oval fruit or no fruit?

The reason for this is that Papayas are sexual plants! Female trees produce round fruit, hermaphrodite trees oval fruit and males no fruit. Male trees are very scarce though.

The Papaya Breeding Program

Dr Aart Louw, an internationally renowned Papaya breeder, is in charge of our Papaya Breeding Program. The Head of our Research & Development Department is Gerrit Nieuwoudt. His department functions on a multi-disciplinary level, handling anything from breeding, pest & disease control, general horticulture as well as post-harvest treatment.  Gerrit has recently been instrumental in finetuning a protocol to enable us to sea-freight papaya to destinations as far as Europe.   Papaya is a tropical crop that is grown under subtropical conditions in South Africa. A great deal of emphasis is therefore placed on breeding cold tolerant lines. Resistance to soil-borne diseases like Pythium and Phytophtera, is also of paramount importance. As we need to guarantee good eating quality by a certain sell-by date, shelf-life is a determining factor when selecting genetic material. Taste, however, is by far the most important characteristic we pursue. The R&D team regularly invites Neofresh staff to participate in blind tasting sessions. Needless to say, this is an exercise which is eagerly awaited! We truly live and EAT our passion: papaya litchi, mango, lemons, blueberries, macadamia, ginger…actually any tropical or sub-tropical fruit! For a number of years genetic material has been sourced from all over the world. Careful cross breeding has so far resulted in three different lines being introduced commercially:


Papino ®

  • Firm flesh
  • Red flesh
  • Smooth skin
  • Long shelf-life
  • Sweet taste

Neo-Pino ®

  • Smaller fruit
  • Red flesh
  • Softer flesh
  • Sweet taste

Neo-Essence ®

  • Extremely sweet
  • Red flesh
  • Soft aromatic flesh
  • “Baby” of our breeding program