Edward A. Evans, Fredy H. Ballen, Braulia De Oleo, and Jonathan H. Crane
University of Florida, Tropical Research and Education Center

Papaya ringspot virus (PRSV) has been a major factor inhibiting the expansion of papaya production in South Florida. The University of Florida has developed transgenic papaya line X17-2, which is tolerant to PRSV, is suitable for commercial production, and has a potential yield improvement as high as 239%. In spite of the yield potential, some fruit growers may be skeptical about adopting this improved GM cultivar for a variety of reasons. Consequently, a probit model with data from a survey of likely producers was used to identify those factors that may influence the adoption of new GM papaya cultivars. Education level, farm size, and income derived from agriculture were among the factors likely to affect adoption of the technology. The findings suggest that a targeted education program will go far in increasing the rate of adoption of the technology.

Key words: Genetic engineering techniques, papaya ring spot virus, PRSV, papaya line X17-2.