Papaya (Carica papaya L.), is a table fruit in most of the tropical countries cultivated mainly for fresh fruit consumption. It is consumed as a part of breakfast dessert and as fruit salad. It is also used in soft drinks, jams, ice-cream flavouring, crystallised fruit and also sold as canned cubes and juice in some countries. In India it is mostly consumed as a table fruit. Papaya research during the last 5 decades encompassed both basic and applied areas. Research work concentrating mainly on crop-production technology, areas suitable for different agroclimatic regions of the country had been carried out at different agricultural universities and ICAR institutions. Systematic papaya breeding work for development of improved varieties was initiated at the TNAU and the IARI in early sixties and subsequently at the GBPUAT and the IIHR in the seventies.

The first improved cultivar of papaya Coorg Honey Dew was identified in 1959 at the Citrus Experiment Station, Chethalli. Interdisciplinary research programme on crop improvement, production technology and plant protection is presently under implementation at the centres at Coimbatore, Pusa, Pune, Jalgaon, Rahuri and Bhubaneshwar with the support under the All-India Co-ordinated Research Project on Tropical Fruits of the ICAR, and through ad-hocprojects under ICAR AP Cess Fund Scheme.