ISSUE 46: APRIL 2019
  ISTF 2019 calls for abstract submissions  

The 2019 International Symposium on Tropical Fruits (ISTF 2019) will be held at the Liberty Central Saigon Riverside Hotel, 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

  FAO releases the May 2019 Food Outlook with a special feature on bananas and tropical fruits in Latin America and the Caribbean     Workshop on dragon fruit marketing and value chain to be held in Vietnam  

A special feature released in the FAO Food Outlook May 2019 examines the key characteristics of exports of bananas and the four major tropical fruits from Latin America and the Caribbean and their role in world fruit supply, and discusses some of the obstacles and opportunities for growth in production and trade.

    The Food & Fertilizer Technology Center (FFTC) and Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VAAS-SOFRI) will be organizing an international workshop on “Dragon fruit Network (DFNet): Marketing and the Whole Value Chain” on September 9-10 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.  

Seminar on Pineapple
Venue: MARDI HQ, Serdang, Malaysia
Date: 11 July 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 


  MALAYSIA: MARDI launches star fruit clone ‘Bintang Mas’     PHILIPPINES: Agriculture dep’t hoping to get Japan to ease 100% banana testing regime  
  The Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) has launched the country’s first star fruit hybrid clone, Bintang Mas (Golden Star), to break into the international market.     The Department of Agriculture hopes to meet with the Japanese government to seek an easing of its 100% testing regulation for Philippine banana imports.  
  INDIA: Promotional events for mango exports bear fruit     AUSTRALIA: Queensland govt boosts TR4 funding, calls for banana industry cost-sharing  
  India hopes to ramp up mango exports by 10-15 %, banking on new markets and promotions in the US, Europe, and West Asia last year.     In an attempt to restrict the spread of the destructive Panama disease TR4 in Australia, the Queensland government recently granted the Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC) AUD $12.1 million (over USD 8 million) in funding.  
  VIETNAM: Vinh Long mangoes to enter US market     INDIA: Mangaluru techie helps farmers curb food waste  
  After 10 years of negotiations, Vietnamese mangoes have officially been licensed to enter the US market.     In October last year, a techie turned agriculturist, Yathish Shetty from Bengaluru, launched an online portal ‘Local Farmer’ exclusively for farmers to sell their produce directly to the customers.  
  INDIA: Hyderabad doctor goes global for dragon fruit     CHINA: Malaysia Durian Festival conquers Beijing  
  A young doctor travelled to nine countries where dragon fruit is cultivated to grow the exotic fruit in Telangana State, after he saw a few enthusiastic farmers in India struggling to reap dividends by cultivating this crop.     A two-day Malaysia Durian Festival was organized in conjunction with the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) by PLS Plantations, a Malaysian public listed company, at the China World Hotel.  
  PHILIPPINES: Strong winds destroy banana plantations     INDONESIA: China ink trade protocol for export of mangosteen  
  Strong winds amid heavy rains flattened banana farms in Kidapawan city on April 9, affecting 15 areas and doing USD 96,000 worth of damage.     Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno L. P. Marsudi and Chinese Customs and Excise Minister Ni Yue Feng inked a trade protocol on mangosteen exports to China, after it permitted Indonesia to re-export.  
  VIETNAM: Supermarkets turn to banana leaves to wrap vegetables     INDIA: Guava pests’ genome decoded by Indian Council of Agricultural Research  
  Several supermarkets in Vietnam have joined a campaign to use non-plastic products to wrap vegetables in a bid to protect the environment.     For the first time, researchers from ICAR Research Complex for NEH, Umiam, have mapped the mitochondrial genome of the guava trunk borer (Aristobia reticulator).  

  STUDY: Black Sigatoka boosted by climate change     JAMAICA: US primed for Jamaican mangoes  

Climate change has raised the risk of a fungal disease that ravages banana crops, new research shows.

    May will see Jamaica send its first mango shipments to the US, according to Audley Shaw, the country’s minister of industry, commerce, agriculture and fisheries.  
  STUDY: A sex-determining gene might help guarantee better papaya production     SPAIN: Mazarrón is Europe’s largest papaya exporter  
  A gene that dictates which of three sexes a papaya tree will become, before seed germination, could spur a leap in the ultra-nutritious crop’s production.     A company in Mazarrón has managed to become Europe’s largest papaya producer in just two years, exporting to countries such as Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy, France, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.  
  MEXICO: Avocado town lives with twin threats: volcano and Trump     KENYA: Nakuru eyes avocado exports to China  
  Trump’s incendiary rhetoric on closing the US-Mexican border has become arguably the biggest threat to the avocado growers’ livelihoods since the Popocatepetl volcano angrily awakened 25 years ago after a long dormant period.     Nakuru County has launched a campaign to revitalize avocado farming as it seeks to tap into the Chinese and other international markets.  
  UK: Banana suppliers act to avoid tariff hike     NEW ZEALAND: US citrus ban not expected to affect retail supply  
  Key Latin American and Caribbean banana suppliers to the UK are set to sign a continuity agreement with the British government to ensure there is no disruption to trade in the event of a no-deal Brexit.     A temporary halt to US citrus imports is not expected to affect retail fruit supplies, the Ministry for Primary Industries says.  
  NEW ZEALAND: Avocados early to hit the NZD 5 mark     KENYA: Taita Taveta county plan to boost banana farming  
  Dot Walton loves avocado but it’s more than she can stomach paying $5 (USD 3.29) for each one at this time of year.     Construction of a Sh116 million (USD 1.15 million) banana processing plant is set to start at the new market site in Taveta, Kenya.