TFNet organizes the 2019 international symposium on tropical fruits in Vietnam  

The 2019 International Symposium on Tropical Fruits (ISTF 2019) was 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).

Bearing the theme “Recent advances and best practices to improve productivity and enhance market access for tropical fruits,” ISTF 2019 discussed the latest scientific research, technology developments, and product innovations. Eighty participants from 11 countries attended the symposium, including Australia, China, Fiji, Germany, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.

  PHOTOS: ISTF2019 field trip     TFNet conducts 13th BOT session in Vietnam  

Participants of the 2019 International Symposium on Tropical Fruits visited interesting sites in the Long An province, Vietnam. Sites include a dragon fruit orchard, a dragon fruit packinghouse, a dragon fruit processing company, and a market.

    The International Tropical Fruits Network (TFNet) held its 13th Board of Trustees Meeting in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on 23 September, a day before the 2019 International Symposium on Tropical Fruits.  

  Dragonfruit: The next potential major tropical fruit?     Job Opening: Chief Executive Officer  
  Dragonfruit or pitaya (Hylocereus sp. and Selenicereus sp.) is gaining popularity with expanding global markets and increase in production areas as observed in Vietnam, China, India, and some countries in Latin America.     The International Tropical Fruits Network (TFNet) is seeking for candidates with outstanding managerial and technical expertise, for the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO).  

Workshop on Banana Fusarium Wilt 
Venue: Guangzhou, China
Date: February 2020  

Workshop on Potential Minor Tropical Fruits
Venue: Malaysia
Date: June/July 2020

2020 International Symposium on Tropical Fruits
Venue: TBA
Date: September 2020

  AUSTRALIA: Bushfires and strong winds knock millions of dollars off mango crop     PHILIPPINES: Banana tariffs a sticking point in South Korea free trade deal  
  President of the NT Mango Industry Association, Leo Skliros, said a number of mango farms, which were busy harvesting, had lost trees to fire during a horrific few days in Darwin’s rural area.     Free trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations with South Korea are stalled because Seoul has not budged on key items sought by the Philippine side, particularly on opening up the market for bananas.  
  VIETNAM: Hanoi’s late-ripening longan exported to Australia     FAO and partners intensify efforts to help countries combat banana disease threat  
  The first batch of late-ripening longan of Hanoi’s Hoai Duc district is scheduled to reach Melbourne city, Australia, the municipal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said.     The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has launched an emergency project under its Technical Cooperation Programme to help countries in Latin America and the Caribbean fight the spread of Fusarium wilt.  
  INDONESIA: As pollinators, bats play key role in large-scale durian production     INDIA: Climate change may hit banana cultivation  
  As the main pollinators of the stinky but popular durian fruit, bats make a significant contribution to the local economy of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, a new study shows.     Climate change may lead to a significant decline in banana production in India, the world’s largest cultivator and consumer of the crop, according to a study.  
  CHINA: Panama sends first pineapples to China     PHILIPPINES: Pineapple packing plant seen to help grow peace, prosperity in Lanao del Sur  

The first container of pineapples from Panama was exported to China, marking the start of a Panama government initiative to promote its produce in the asian giant.

    A 6 million USD pineapple packing plant facility can help Lanao del Sur province recover from conflicts started by the Maute terrorist group, officials said.  
  VIETNAM: Farmers expand dragon fruit area in spite of declining prices     AUSTRALIA: Lychee ‘super varieties’ to bring new flavours of popular summer fruit  
  Although the retail price of dragon fruit has continuously declined, many farming households still abandoned rice paddy fields, pineapple fields, and fish ponds to cultivate the fruit.     Six varieties of “standout” Taiwanese lychee trees have been planted on a Yeppoon farm after a long journey from Taiwan, a year in quarantine in Melbourne, a flight to Brisbane, and a road trip to Yeppoon.  
  AUSTRALIA: Pineapple plants trucked across border for elephants as drought bites at Western Plains Zoo     MALAYSIA: Agriculture ministry hopes durian entrepreneurs will escalate agro-tourism  

Taronga’s Western Plains Zoo is trucking in pineapple plants from a farm 900 kilometres away to help feed its elephants as the drought bites hard in New South Wales.


The Agriculture and Agro-based Ministry (MOA) hopes that durian entrepreneurs and planters can escalate durian-based agro-tourism activities before the 2020 Visit Malaysia Year (VMY2020).

  USA: Big avocado earns Hawaii family Guinness World Records honor     PAKISTAN: Mango exports likely to surpass 120,000 tons  
  The Pokini family from the island of Maui received the Guinness certificate for growing an avocado weighing 5.6 pounds (2.54 kilograms).     Pakistan is anticipating to make record high mango exports of over 120,000 tons in 2019 as higher production and significant rupee depreciation helped push export volumes at a time when exports of many other goods remain sluggish.  
  CHILE: Avocados blamed for worsening drought     RESEARCH: Pineapple genome offers insights into plant domestication process  
  Before and after photographs show the impact of a devastating drought in Chile, with a lush field becoming desert-like while avocado crops still remain verdant.     Scientists at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois sequenced the genome of the red pineapple and compared it to the genomes of several other cultivars.  
  KENYA: Mango farmers form association in chase of higher prices     RESEARCH: CRISPR might be the banana’s only hope against a deadly fungus  
  Traders, farmers, and other stakeholders from 14 counties have formed an association to promote commercial farming of mangoes and bargain for better prices for their members.     The race to engineer the next-generation banana is on with a team in Australia inserting a gene from wild bananas into the Cavendish using CRISPR.  
  AFRICA: Banana producers urge EU to maintain tariffs on Latin American imports     CAMBODIA: Mangoes next in line for exports to China  
  Exporters in Africa, the Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) have been losing market share since 2009, when the EU agreed to progressively cut tariffs on bananas from bigger growers in Latin America.     Mango is likely to be the next product that Cambodia exports directly to China, according to an official of the Agriculture Ministry.  
  RESEARCH: Bananas have benefited from climate change but they won’t in future     GUINEA: TİKA helps farmers boost pineapple production  
  Climate change has been relatively kind to banana suppliers so far – but in the decades to come, friend may turn to foe with temperatures likely to get so hot that the annual production gains enjoyed by banana suppliers will begin to drop.     Turkey’s leading aid provider, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), is lending a hand to Guineans in improving their production of pineapples, a main source of income for farmers in the West African nation.  
  MEXICO: Veracruz loses 5,000 hectares of pineapples due to drought     MEXICO: Farmers turn to dragon fruit as drought continues to plague the South  

The drought in the Mexican state of Veracruz, the leading pineapple producer in the country, has caused the loss of 5,000 hectares of production area and a decrease in fruit size.


Farmers whose staple crops aren’t adapting to changing weather patterns are now looking to non-traditional crops as an alternative.