ZAMBIA: Mongu to get mango processing plant

A mango juice processing plant is set to be commissioned in Mongu this year with an initial investment of over K650,000 (USD 90,723).   Under Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) the value chain clusters programme, Adastra Fruit Juice Processors is expected to create 20 jobs in the initial stage.   Both CEEC director general Likando […]

CHINA: Fruit imports grow 23 percent

by Wayne Prowse, Fruitnet   China’s direct fresh fruit imports increased 22.8 per cent to 3.3m tonnes in 2014 compared to the previous year, according to figures released by China Customs.   Leading the imports were bananas, with imports increasing 119 per cent to more than 1.1m tonnes. The Philippines was the major supplier of bananas […]

AUSTRALIA: Cyclone-hit pineapples left in the mud

by Amy McCosker, ABC Rural   Pineapple pickers are working through fields in central Queensland, but much of the fruit they are harvesting will not end up in market stalls or in cans.   Most of it is being thrown in the mud.     Pineapple grower Nathan Stevens said the damage from Cyclone Marcia was […]

AUSTRALIA: Banana freckle ‘standover tactics’

When Ron and Kay Harbeck wrote to Chief Minister Adam Giles expressing concerns about the National Banana Freckle Eradication Program, they didn’t expect a call from a government employee warning them about the consequences of failure to co-operate with the aims of the campaign.     Mr Harbeck, 74, of Alawa, said an officer from […]

MYANMAR: Melon market bounces back

By Kyae Mone Win, Myanmar Times Translation by Zar Zar Soe   Seesawing melon prices are on the up again, thanks to a combination of falling production and rising demand in advance of the Chinese New Year. Honeydew prices are expected to climb to 5.5 yuan (US$0.88) per kilogram, up from a low of 1 yuan […]

PHILIPPINES: Gov’t, private sector team up to manage banana diseases

by Carmencita A. Carillo, Business World Online   A joint government-private sector initiative called Protect and Modernize the Philippine Banana Production Project has been launched to further boost the export sector in time for the economic integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.   The project focuses on strengthening research work to combat and control […]

PHILIPPINES: Remove import tariffs on bananas

by Reuel John F. Lumawag, SunStar   Japanese banana importers have recently lobbied for the elimination of import tariffs on Philippine bananas being exported to Japan, an executive from the Philippine Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) said.   “What is needed now is an official request from the Philippine government appealing for the elimination of […]

USA: Blue watermelons are an internet hoax

By Nannette Richford, The Examiner   If you are a gardener looking for new and unusual plants, you may be tempted to buy these rare blue watermelon seeds currently being sold on eBay. According to the user profile, 392 packages of blue watermelon seeds have been sold to date, with only 10 packages available as of Feb. 19. They are […]

AUSTRALIA: Northern Territory banana plantation weathers storm as Cyclone Lam veers away

by Matt Brann, ABC   A Northern Territory banana plantation has escaped widespread damage from strong winds caused by the approaching Cyclone Lam.     Bruce Patterson estimates five to six per cent of his trees at the plantation at Yirrkala, near Nhulunbuy in north east Arnhem Land, have been blown over.   “The leaves […]

INDIA: Value addition gives jackfruit an image makeover

A. Satish, The New Indian Express   The seasonal jackfruit seen in abundance in trees every summer across the state is no longer the poor man’s fruit. Use of food technology and value addition has brought in a new-found acceptance for this miracle fruit with diverse jackfruit (JF)products available off the shelf across retail stores. […]

INDIA: Apeda seeks commitment on mango exports to Japan

by Dilip Kumar Jha, Business Standard   With mango exports to Japan falling in the past three years, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda) has sought a commitment on the quantity from potential shippers. For this year, Apeda has asked each exporter to commit to at least 50-70 tonnes; for 2016 and 2017, they should commit to 100 tonnes […]

COLOMBIA: Growers want a spot in U.S. guacamole bowls

By Jim Wyss, Miami Herald   A few days after the Super Bowl, a few men were huddled outside a fruit-processing plant on the outskirts of Medellín analyzing the event.     They weren’t talking about impossible receptions, interceptions or dropped catches, however, but the one-minute commercial promoting Mexican avocados.   U.S. consumer demand for […]