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Mexico's Agriculture Ministry reports that a high-yield, insect- and disease-resistant papaya has been developed. It said the papaya hybrid can have a yield of up to 132 tons of fruit per hectare, more than double the current yield of 50 tons. The MSXJ hybrid was developed at the Campo Experimental Huimanguillo in Tabasco state.
The ministry said Mexico last year had 14,226 hectares planted with papaya, producing 713,000 tons of fruit valued at 2.6 billion pesos ($200 million). The ministry said Mexico is the world's fifth-biggest papaya producer and top exporter at 104,681 tons.
The United States is the world's biggest papaya importer and takes in virtually all of Mexico's papaya exports; in 2009 it imported 156,430 tons of the fruit.
In 2011, Mexico's top agricultural exports were tomatoes, avocadoes and coffee, according to Agriculture Ministry figures cited in the November 2011 issue of Negocios Mexico. A category containing melons, watermelon and papaya came next, followed by the garlic and onions category.