TFNet holds international tropical fruit symposium in Malaysia


The International Symposium on “Developing research to enhance market demand and profitability of tropical fruits” was held in Putrajaya, Malaysia on 14 August 2014, organized by International Tropical Fruits Network (TFNet) with support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).


The Symposium aimed to present and discuss various current research initiatives on tropical fruit to improve productivity and marketability; introduce the selection of a new Cavendish banana cultivar that is resistant to Fusarium wilt disease; share experiences on the various initiatives taken to improve productivity and quality for export markets; and discuss on policies to enhance tropical fruit research and markets.


One hundred participants from 13 countries attended the symposium, representing international organizations, government agencies, academic and research institutions, and the private sector.


The Opening Ceremony was officiated by Salimi Sajari, Undersecretary for Strategic Planning and International Division of the Malaysian Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry (MOA), as the representative of the MOA Secretary-General Dato’ Mohd Arif Bin Ab. Rahman.



“I am happy that TFNet and FAO have organised this symposium and provided a platform for stakeholders in the tropical fruit industry to deliberate and discuss on pertinent issues influencing the global tropical fruit development,” said Salimi. Malaysia currently hosts TFNet and has been a key member since 2000.


The first Welcome Address was delivered by TFNet CEO Yacob Ahmad. “This is one of the many Symposiums organized by TFNet that aim to share information on recent advancements in tropical fruits to various stakeholders,” said Yacob. “Today we are highlighting research developments that enhance the value, competitiveness, and marketability of tropical fruits,” Yacob added.


“Tropical fruits are important to developing countries from both a nutritional and commercial perspective,” according to Kaison Chang, Secretary of the FAO Intergovernmental Group on Bananas and Tropical Fruits during the 2nd Welcome Address. “I take this opportunity to thank TFNet for organizing the symposium,” he adds.


The keynote presentation by Dr. Yi Ganjun from the Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences (GDAAS), China showed the research efforts in controlling Fusarium wilt in banana using conventional breeding, GMOs, and cultivation techniques. This disease is a major concern as it severely reduces on the viability of the global banana economy financially, economically, environmentally, and socially.


With goals to improve and enhance the market potential of tropical fruits, other presentations showed the research focus in selected countries throughout the tropics.



These presentations are:

(click titles to view the powerpoint)


1.  Research needs to align with commercial practice – Alternative concept for mango market access protocol
Bob C. Williams
Director of Plant Industries, Darwin, Australia

2. Research and development in addressing the challenges in market expansion of Malaysian fruits
Zabedah Mahmood
Research Officer, Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute, Malaysia

3. A challenge of technology adoption for exported fruits in Indonesia
Dr. Hasanuddin Ibrahim
Director General, Dept. of Horticulture, Indonesia

4. Research developments in enhancing export of pitaya in Vietnam
Dr. Nguyen Van Hoa
Southern Horticultural Research Institute (SOFRI), Vietnam

5. Production and marketing of tropical fruits in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, with focus on mango
Dr. Hassan Dinar
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Saudi Arabia

6. Developing research to enhance market demand and profitability of tropical fruits – mango from Sri Lanka
Dr. DBT Wijeratne
Additional Secretary (Agricultural Technology), Ministry of Agriculture, Sri Lanka

7. Research advances in tropical fruit reseach in India
Dr. Prakash Patil
Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, India

8. Solutions to improve the marketing of tropical fruits in Myanmar
Dr. Than Than Sein
Myanmar fruit and vegetable producer and exporter association, Myanmar

9. Mango research interventions for the successful postharvest value chains in Sudan
Dr. Badreldeen E. M. Elhassan
Director General, Department of Horticulture, Sudan

10. Situation Analysis for Papaya and Pineapple Production in Fiji
Salendra Prasad
Department of Agriculture, Fiji


UPDATE: The Symposium Notes are now available and can be downloaded here.

One comment

  1. Danilo T. Dannug

    It was an opportunity to be participant to this very important and educational symposium sponsored by ITFNet. As member country, we can implement many reforms from our agricultural undertakings by collaborating with ITFNet in harmonizing our policies for prioritizing programs relevant to international issues

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