ISSUE 45: MARCH 2019
  International Symposium on Tropical Fruits (ISTF 2019) - Call for Abstracts  

The 2019 International Symposium on Tropical Fruits (ISTF 2019) will be held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on 24-26 September, organized by the International Tropical Fruits Network (TFNet) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), with the support of the Fruit and Vegetable Research Institute (FAVRI) and the Southern Horticultural Research Institute (SOFRI).

ISTF 2019 is now accepting abstracts! For more information on the venue, registration fees, and important dates, visit


Seminar on Pineapple
Venue: Putrajaya, Malaysia
Date: June 2019

13th Session of the TFNet Board of Trustees  
Venue: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Date: 23 September 2019

2019 International Symposium on Tropical Fruits 
Venue: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Date: 24-26 September 2019

Workshop on Banana Fusarium Wilt 
Venue: Guangzhou, China
Date: October 2019 

  TROPED 2018 proceedings has been released      
  The highly-anticipated proceedings of the 2018 International Conference on Tropical Fruit Pests and Diseases has been released.      

  AUSTRALIA: Mango industry discovers highly infectious bacteria as cause of ugly veins of resin canal discoloration     VIETNAM: Mekong Delta farmers rush to plant Thai jackfruit despite risks  
  Scientists have worked out what causes ugly veins to appear in mangoes — a breakthrough that could save the industry millions of dollars each year.     Farmers in the Mekong Delta are switching to jackfruit as it commands a higher price per kilo but a drastic switch can lead to an eventual glut.  
  INDONESIA: Jokowi tells oil palm tree growers to turn to durian     INDIA: Alphonso set for Korea and Malaysia entry  
  Amid low demand and the price decrease of crude palm oil in the global market, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has advised oil palm tree growers to grow durian trees, as he believes the commodity has good prospects.    

Phytosanitary inspectors from Korea and Malaysia are expected to visit India at the start of the mango season to foster a smoother export pathway for Alphonso mangoes.

  MALAYSIA: Hot days mean durian galore     INDONESIA: Country fosters mangosteen exports  

There is great news for durian lovers – a bumper crop is expected here this year with the hot weather.

    West Java’s Bogor region shipped 1,000 tonnes of mangosteen to China in a bid to boost mangosteen exports.  
  BANGLADESH: Fruit setting predicts bumper mango production     SRI LANKA: Growing market for organic, dehydrated pineapple and mango  
  Fruit setting of mango is going on smoothly amid favorable climatic condition, predicting a bumper production of the most popular fruit in Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj districts.    

The Lanka Fruit and Vegetable Producer, Processors, and Exporter Association (LFVPPEA) opens up opportunities for value-addition of fruits and vegetables by educating the sector and providing support to compete in the global market.

  VIETNAM: USDA post about benefits of dragon fruit, a crucial export     AUSTRALIA: Feijoa is the superfruit you’ve probably never heard of  
  On its fanpage, USDA wrote: “Dragon fruit, also called a pitaya, is a tropical fruit that is high in fiber and provides a good amount of vitamins & minerals.”     Although Feijoa is native to Brazil, it is widely cultivated in New Zealand and is exported to Australia and other countries.  
  INDIA: Farmers gear up to promote ‘Naga tree tomato’     INDONESIA: Fruit exports, removing the core problem  
  The North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC) organized a workshop on ‘Post GI Activities for Naga Tree Tomato and Registration for Authorized Users’.     One of the country’s major pineapple producers complained to Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati about the difficulties the company encountered in exporting pineapples to China.  

  USA: The avocado recall holds an urgent message     USA: Avocados have biggest price surge in 10 years amid Trump’s threat to close the U.S.-Mexico border  
  The voluntary avocado recall by the Henry Avocado Corporation is an example of a “good” type of recall: Listeria monocytogenes was caught through a routine government inspection, and there are no reported deaths or illnesses.     One gauge of avocado prices is having its biggest gain in almost a decade as consumers weigh the latest rhetoric from Donald Trump on his threat to close the U.S. border with Mexico, a major supplier of the fruit.  
  USA: Import alert for Mexican papayas over widespread Salmonella contamination     THAILAND: Wild elephants damage durian orchard in Chanthaburi  
  Papayas from Mexico remain under an import alert issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that allows US ports of entry to detain the Mexican produce without physical examination.     10 wild elephants raided a durian orchard in Chanthaburi’s Tha Mai district, causing around baht 200,000 (USD 6,283) of damage.  
  NEW ZEALAND: ‘Serious pest’ affecting avocado trees discovered in Auckland     TAIWAN: Researchers develop dye-sensitized solar cell using pitaya  
  An avocado tree-loving beetle, regarded as a serious pest overseas, has been discovered in Auckland. The wood-boring granulate ambrosia beetle has been detected in four Auckland areas since late February, according to Biosecurity New Zealand.     A student and his professor at National Chiayi University have developed a method of using a natural dye extracted from dragon fruit, or pitaya, in the fabrication of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs).  
  BOLIVIA: Banana exports to Argentina resumes     KENYA: Farmers plead for help over fall in banana prices  
  After the heavy rains and floods, Bolivia is resuming banana exports to Argentina at 2,800 tonnes per week.     Heaps of unsold bananas litter farms in Kenya as brokers are buying bunches for less than half of the normal price.  
  SOUTH AFRICA: Citrus exports to hit a record of 137 million boxes in 2019     FEATURE: Banana blossom may be the next vegan food star  
  Following bumper lemon and mandarin plantings, South Africa is expected to export a record 137 million boxes of citrus to more than 100 countries this year – the second record year in a row.     Following beetroot burgers and jackfruit curries, the next star of the vegan “meat” world hails from the gardens of South-East Asia and looks somewhat like an artichoke.  
  SWITZERLAND: Why bananas could be the fabric of the future     INFO: When life gives you sour lemons, use genetics to find out why  
  Cotton is the king of natural fibers, but its large water footprint can create problems in areas where it’s grown. Can Swiss experiments with fibers from banana stem offer better alternatives?     A team of researchers, including two from the University of California, Riverside, has identified the genes responsible for the hallmark sour taste of many citrus fruits.