The International Tropical Fruits Network (TFNet), the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Plant Industry, Philippines (BPI), and the PhilFruits Association, Inc. (PFA) jointly organized the International Symposium on Tropical Fruits: Towards Sustainable Fruit Production and Global Food Security (ISTF2016) on 29-31 August 2016 in Davao City, Philippines.


The symposium aimed to discuss different sustainable fruit production techniques that would help ensure global food security. The latest advances in research and development and policy making were also presented to benefit participants and stakeholders.


Three hundred participants from Philippines, Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, Italy, Germany, Bangladesh, Australia, Myanmar, Dominican Republic, and Palau attended the symposium. Participants and paper presenters represented international organizations, government agencies, academic and research institutions, and the private sector.



The opening ceremony was officiated by Evelyn G. Laviña, Philippine Undersecretary for Agribusiness and High Value Crops, Department of Agriculture.


“Tropical fruits play an imperative role in our agricultural economy, particularly in fulfilling the goals of fruit production and management, fruit growers and exporters’ welfare, and food security,” said Laviña. “May this Symposium promote more effective cultivation techniques, help achieve sustainability and global food security and address the challenges of today’s competitive global market.”


Undesecretary Laviña also encouraged local fruit growers, academic researchers, community and extension technologists, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders to apply the technologies and good practices that keep farms productive throughout the Philippines to sustain the production, supply, promotion and marketing chain of our fruit industry.


Other notable VIPs in the opening ceremony were Manitra Rakotoarisoa, Secretary of the Intergovernmental Group on Bananas and Tropical Fruits of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Dr. Viviencio R. Mamaril, Director of the Bureau of Plant Industry Philippines, Dr. Marilyn E. Romaquin, President of the Philippine Fruits Association, Davao City Councilor Marissa P. Salvador Abella, and TFNet CEO Dr. Desa Hassim.


Thirty Four papers were presented during the Symposium on the following topics: Health and Nutrition, Sustainable Fruit Production and Management, Crop Diversification, Germplasm Collection, and Varietal Improvement, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Climate Change Mitigation, Organic Fruit Farming, Crop Protection, Postharvest Technologies, Product Development, and Utilization, Agribusiness, Economics, Marketing, and International Trade, and Policy Interventions, Extension, and Promotion.


During the field trip, participants visited the banana plantation of Tagum Agricultural Development Company, Inc. (TADECO).



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