The volumes of Panamanian papaya exported to the United States market (USA) went from 18 containers with 19,380 boxes in 2017 to 57 containers with 68,400 boxes exported for the year 2021. Each exported box has an approximate weight of 14 kg.
This information released by the National Director of Plant Health of the Ministry of Agricultural Development (Mida), Pablo Rodríguez, who stressed that papaya exports to the US rrecorded a sustained increase from 2017 when the cultures of the company Panafruit, SA, located in Aguacatal, province of Chiriquí, as evidenced in a report prepared by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
It adds that fresh papaya fruits are exported from Panama to the US, thanks to compliance with the conditions established in the Operational Work Plan (POT), signed by the National Directorate of Plant Health (DNSV) and the USDA, in which compromises were agreed upon and rresponsibilities of the three parties involved in the production and export of this item, such as: exporters, DNSV and USDA.
Rodriguez explained that Within the framework of the POT, it is up to Sanidad Vegetal to establish and maintain a trapping system for fruit flies in the production sites quarantine, one year before the start of exports, in addition to monitoring the general phytosanitary situation of the crop, cleaning the field, monitoring the degree of maturity of the harvested fruit, inspecting the fruits in the packing plant and verifying a treatment with hot water, among other responsibilities.
For its part, exporters must comply with the requirements established in the POT, report to the DNSV any irregularity in the execution of the export program, take corrective actions and carry out quality control measures for all the fruits that arrive at the packing plant, details the Mida press release.
The POT has proven to be an effective instrument to facilitate trade between the two countries, since despite some phytosanitary concerns, the market for this item remains open with the North American trading partner.
Currently, two other papaya exporting companies in Chiriquí are on their way to benefit from the POT to export to the US, which consolidates the potential of this item for the province and the country.
Papaya exports to the US, as of September 2021, are accompanied by electronic phytosanitary certificates issued by the ePhyto platform, adding efficiency and transparency to the processes related to the activity.