ISSUE 47: MAY 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

  TFNet to hold MD2 pineapple workshop in Malaysia  

The International Tropical Fruits Network (TFNet) is leading a seminar titled Current Development and Challenges in Improving Production, Productivity, and Market Demand for the MD2 Pineapple Variety on 11 July 2019 at the Tan Sri Yusof Hashim Hall, MARDI, Serdang, Selangor.

The seminar is co-organized with the Malaysian Pineapple Industry Board (LPNM), the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI), the Malaysian Department of Agriculture, and the Pineapple Growers Association of Malaysia (PPNM).

  Workshop on dragon fruit marketing and value chain to be held in Vietnam     BDS releases book on sustainable cultivation of tropical fruits  
  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.     Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing (BDS), an associate member of TFNet, has released the new book Achieving sustainable cultivation of tropical fruits, edited by Professor Elhadi M. Yahia.  

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 

  PHILIPPINES: Mango lovers gather for 1st Cebu Mangoes Festival     AUSTRALIA: ‘World’s first’ automatic mango harvester developed  
  Crowds, both locals and foreigners, gathered for the first ever Cebu Mangoes Festival in the Mactan Newton in Lapu-Lapu City on May 26.     Central Queensland University has built the world’s first mango auto-harvester, with the first prototype achieving 75% efficiency in automatically identifying and picking fruit.  
  MALAYSIA: Sarawak banks on durian, pineapples, bananas, coconuts as new cash crops     INDIA: Guava pest genome decoded by Indian Council of Agricultural Research  
  The state agriculture ministry is focusing on durian, pineapple, banana, and coconut as fruit crops to help meet Sarawak’s goal of becoming a net food exporter by 2030.     For the first time, researchers from ICAR Research Complex have mapped the mitochondrial genome of guava trunk borer, a beetle that thrives on the guava and lychee trees in the northeastern region of India.  
  CHINA: Fruit imports may exceed $10 billion in 2019     VIETNAM: Scarcity causes dragon fruit price to make new record  
  China is increasing its imports of fruits, berries, and nuts and may for the first time exceed the mark of USD 10 billion this year.     On the last week of May, the price of dragon fruits continued to break a record high hovering at VND 30,000-31,000 (USD 1.29-1.33) per kilogram.  
  INDIA: Tripura starts first-ever pineapple export to Bangladesh     VIETNAM: Exporters eye USA avocado market after Trump spat with Mexico  
  Tripura has exported its first consignment of queen pineapple to neighboring Bangladesh’s Comilla district through the Srimantapur Land Custom Station (LCS).     Vietnam is seeking to export avocados to the United States, after Donald Trump’s threat to shut the USA-Mexico border raised fears that American consumers could see a shortage.  
  MALAYSIA: Open burning by pineapple farmers causes haze in Sarawak     BANGLADESH: Mango harvest begins  
  Irresponsible pineapple farmers, conducting open burning in the Vista Perdana and Desa Bahagia areas, have been identified as the culprits behind the haze problem plaguing southern Sarawak.     District administration in Rajshahi scheduled the date for beginning mango harvest, although growers in orchards say mangoes would not ripen until the end of May.  

  MEXICO: Avocado growers expect US consumers to bear tariffs     SAINT LUCIA: Banana workshops to help Saint Lucian farmers ‘avoid harvesting in hurricane seasons’  
  Trump tariffs would hit U.S. avocado lovers more than Mexican producers, as demand for Mexican avocados has proven to be static in spite of prices increasing four-fold.     Taiwan Technical Mission, in cooperation with Saint Lucia’s agriculture agencies, held Banana Plants Preparation and Follower Setting Workshops in April and May 2019.  
  VENEZUELA: Mangoes are unsung heroes     EU: Papaya market is growing in Europe  
  During these troubled times in Venezuela, the mango has a new identity - a much needed emergency food source.    

In Europe, papaya consumption isn’t yet as common as in tropical countries, but it is growing gradually.

  ECUADOR: Gov’t demands the WTO withdraw restrictions on its bananas     SINGAPORE: No record of pineapple imports allegedly containing cyclamic acid  
  Ecuador demanded the World Trade Organization (WTO) withdraw the restriction measures imposed by Brazil on Ecuadorian bananas, alleging there was no justification for the commercial suspension.     A Thai brand of frozen peeled pineapples rumoured to contain cyclamic acid has not been imported into Singapore, said the Singapore Food Agency (SFA).  
  LAOS: Banana to become major agricultural export     MEXICO: Agreement with China opens new market  
  Laotian banana exports dipped to USD 112 million in 2018 but is expected to rise to USD 168 million in 2019, according to the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce.     Bananas from southeastern Mexico will soon be on their way to Chinese consumers after the signing of a bilateral agreement.  
  CAMBODIA: First banana shipment to China on the way     KENYA: Taita banana farmers to get value addition plant  
  Cambodia began the process of sending its first shipment of bananas to the Chinese market, after five local companies were greenlighted by the Chinese government last month.     A USD 1 million banana processing and value addition plant, to be constructed with a grant from the European Union, was launched in Taita Taveta.  
  IRELAND: Fyffes rolls out on-the-go pineapple machine     USA: Bananas are getting cheaper but comes with hidden costs.  
  Fyffes has launched its ‘Pineapple Bar’ in a number of Dunnes Stores outlets, offering customers freshly chopped pineapple in seconds.     Affordability is a key part of the banana’s allure, but it’s also something of a quiet mystery. How is it possible that a temperamental, tropical fruit can be such a bargain?  
  CAMEROON: Banana export slid to 13,381 tons in April     SENEGAL: Smart tech the new tool for African farmers  
  Cameroon exported a total of 13,381 tons of banana in April this year, the lowest volume since the year began, the fruit’s association said.     Agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa may have the image of relentless toil and low productivity, but experts say new tech is changing the picture.