It is one of Hawaii's most valuable fruits, but the papaya industry has been on a rollercoaster ride for decades with twists and turns that just keep on coming.
It might surprise you, but genetically modified papayas have been in the consumer market for 14 years.
Whether it's helped or hurt a precious island commodity depends on who you talk to, but one thing is for sure, no one wants this multi-million dollar industry to die.
"When I just arrived here, didn't have any options for jobs," said Alberto Belmes, who is a papaya farmer to the core.
"This is like my family!" he laughed, holding on to a papaya tree.
He said he remembers well, when the ring spot virus nearly ended his career.
"It was really devastating. I mean ho boy!" he sighed.
"We came real close," said Farmer Rusty Perry, who suffered the same fate.
In 1992, Hawaii's papaya production was at its peak with seven packing houses boxing 65 million pounds for the U.S. alone.
By 2002, with the ring spot sweeping the Big Island, production tanked to a third of that.