The 7th General Assembly (GA) of the International Tropical Fruits Network (TFNet) was held in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia on 24 September 2018, a day before the TFNet-led International Conference on Tropical Fruit Pests and Diseases (TROPED 2018).



Twenty three delegates were present during the assembly, including eight country members, two associate members, two experts, one ordinary member, five observers, a representative from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and four members of the Secretariat.


Country members present include Malaysia, China, Fiji, India, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, and Sudan and associate members present were Afro-Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO) and Crops for the Future Research Centre (CFFRC). Meanwhile, observers were from the Department of Agriculture Sabah, Department of Horticulture Indonesia, and Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry (MOA) Malaysia.


Dato’ Mohd Sallehhuddin Hassan, Secretary General of MOA, chaired the GA as the representative of the host country Malaysia.


“We fully support TFNet and will assist in its activities for the benefit of member countries,” said Dato’ Sallehhuddin during his welcome address. He adds, “As the one and only global network on tropical fruits TFNet is in an advantageous position to transform the global tropical fruits industry.”


After the welcome address, Acting Chief Executive Officer Ms. Dorothy Chandrabalan presented the progress report for 2015-2018, opening up discussions on membership, finances, corporate communications, administration, and activities such as conferences, symposiums, capacity building workshops, and study tours.


Ms. Chandrabalan also presented the proposed activities for 2018-2021, which include updating the tropical fruit information database, projects on capacity building for smallholders, a follow-up workshop on revitalizing the fruit industry, and study visits and training courses on various topics. The GA accepted the proposed activities and encouraged TFNet to increase the scope of its activities to other countries.


A summary of the report, including details on the proposed activities will be sent to members soon.


Election of Board Members

After the presentation of the progress report, the GA held elections for the appointment of new members of the TFNet Board of Trustees (BOT) for 2018-2021. FAO representative Ms. Sabine Altendorf reviewed and tallied the votes. The results are as follows:

Chairperson: Malaysia
Representative: Dato’ Mohd Sallehhuddin Hassan, Secretary General, Ministry of Agriculture and Agrobased Industry

Vice Chairpersons:

Representative: Dr. Yi Ganjun, Vice President, Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences
Representative: Dr. Vinod Kumar Singh, Additional Secretary for Rural Development, Ministry of Rural Development


Country Members: 

Representative: Mr. Uraia Waibuta, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture
Representative: Mr. Muawya Jaber Abdul Rahman, Director, Economic Section, Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform
Representative: Dr. Sunday O.S. Akiyemi, Executive Director, National Horticultural Research Institute
Representative: Mr. Ashraf Uddin Ahmed, Director General, Seed Wing, Ministry of Agriculture
Representative: Dr. Ir. Suwandi, Director General, Horticulture Section, Ministry of Agriculture
Representative:  Dr. Nguyen Quoc Hung, Director General, Fruit and Vegetable Research Institute
Representative: Mr. George Culaste, Director, Bureau of Plant Industry
Representative: Dr. Badreldin Elshiekh Mohamed Elhassan, Director General, Horticulture Section, Ministry of Agriculture
Representative: TBC
Sri Lanka
Representative: Hon. B. Wijeratne, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture
Saudi Arabia
Representative: Dr. Bandar Al-Otaibi, Director General, Saudi National Center for Research on Agriculture and Livestock

Associate Members:
Afro-Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO)
Representative: Engr. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihein, Secretary General
Crops for the Future Research Center
Representative: Prof. Dr. Sayed Azam-Ali, Chief Executive Officer

Expert Members:

Mr. Yacob Ahmad, TFNet Advisor
Dr. Mohd. Roff. Mohd Noor, Director-General of the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute


Venue of the next GA
Dr. Yi Ganjun offered to host the next General Assembly in Hainan Island, China in 2021. On the other hand, the next BOT meeting in 2019 will be held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.


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