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Dragon Fruit Regional Network Initiation Workshop



Dragon fruit or pitaya (Hylocereus spp.), a climbing cactus domesticated from the rainforests of Central America, is a crop of increasing importance in south eastern Asian countries. The crop has many characteristics that make it attractive to smallholder intensive farming systems. They include ease of propagation and establishment, relatively low maintenance costs, potentially high yields and a strong export potential with associated high returns per unit land area.

As with many ‘new’ crops, growers and technologists in all countries are on a learning curve to understand how best to manage the crop and to mitigate threats related to agronomic practices, postharvest handling and pests and diseases. As in most crops, rapid expansion of cropping areas in a monoculture system has led to serious issues, the most of common of which are diseases. In the absence of appropriate management advice, dragon fruit canker, a fungal disease only recorded from the region within the past five years has already destroyed thousands of hectares of dragon fruit throughout the region. Many other diseases are also affecting the crop in the field and the postharvest value of the fruit.

Many research institutions and universities within the region have research programs aimed at resolving these problems for growers. However, most are operating in isolation from one another, often on limited budgets and with no mechanism for information sharing. The research programs are also regarded as very ‘young’, with most publications on pitaya diseases in Asia not even reaching three years old. With the current small, dispersed, isolated, country-focussed research programs, progress is inevitably slow. Furthermore there is often a significant lag time between the completion of a research project and its publication, meaning that vital information can be delayed or denied in its practical implementation. It is in this light that the participants of the international workshop on “Improving Pitaya Production and Marketing” held on 7-9 September 2015 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan concurred that a mechanism for more rapid and efficient sharing of regional knowledge and capability and for undertaking cross country collaborative research would significantly increase both the cost efficiency and the rate of progress of most research programs.

To address the above mentioned recommendations, FFTC, the Mekong Institute (MI), New Zealand Plant & Food Research, and International Tropical Fruits Network (TFNet) organized a “Regional Workshop on the Control of Dragon Fruit Diseases” at MI, Khon Kaen, Thailand, 4-8 September 2016. After exchange of information among the participants from nine countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific on the issues and their research progress, they have made the following recommendations:

  1. Formation of the collaborative research and development (R&D) on the control of dragon fruit diseases and pests in the region will be the most effective and efficient route to achieving that goal;
  2. Collaborative R&D in the network may include: 1) Preparation of the workshop proceedings, and proposal for supporting networking activities; 2) Preparation and procurement of healthy planting materials; 3) Standardized methodology for canker research (disease rating system, fungicide evaluation, field efficacy and efficiency tests); 4) Fungicide knowledge, biological control and natural products; 5) Collection, collation and annotation of prevailing methods of controlling diseases and pests for region-wide recommendations; 6) Other researchable issues that will be identified during the course of networking; and
  3. FFTC and MI to serve as catalysts for the formation of regional networking.

Collaborative research networks provide opportunities for participants to adopt common methodologies and research approaches. In this manner, new research techniques are more readily disseminated and adopted. Information on or access to the latest laboratory techniques and field research methods are particularly valuable to scientists in developing Southeast and South Asian countries who often find it difficult to gain access to up-to-date library facilities, to obtain new equipment and to travel to international or regional meetings. In this way, unnecessary repetition in research is also avoided and the time is saved.

To facilitate the formation of regional dragon fruit network, FFTC, MI, PFR, and TARI formed an organizing committee and held an “Organizing Committee Meeting for Dragon Fruit Pest and Disease Research Network Initial Workshop” at FFTC, Taipei, Taiwan, 27-30 November 2017. After discussion, the committee have made the following recommendations:

  1. The “Dragon Fruit Regional Network Initiation Workshop & Steering Committee Meeting” will be held in Taiwan 22-27, April 2018;
  2. The whole value chain spectrum for dragon fruit be included. Not only is it encompassing it would also attract more participants to join the network.
  3. The proposed network should not be project based and should not have a timeframe. It must be a sustainable network.
  4. Invite public and private sector representatives from Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand;  Malaysia, the Philippines,  Japan, Korea, Cambodia, Myanmar, and South Asian countries.


Objectives of the Workshop

  • Bring together key researchers, technologists, leaders of research institute, and government officers on dragon fruit pests and diseases from within the region;
  • Deliberate issues: 1) areas of improvement of individual countries, 2) modus operandi of collaborative research, 3) appointment of network coordinator & national coordinators, & 4) strategic planning & budgeting;
  • Establish a network committed to information sharing, develop collaborative research programs and prepare joint proposals for research funding.


Organization of the Workshop

  • Potential strategy of “Dragon Fruit Regional Network on the whole value chain spectrum for Dragon Fruit” and future direction of international collaboration
  • Reports and group discussions to theme topics for collaborative research: 1) regional perspective of the dragon fruit industry; 2) Situational analysis/country papers (It should include production and marketing data, SWOT analysis, prospects or strategies, industry challenges and needs, etc.); 3) Technical papers (Should include information on production, postharvest practices, and marketing of dragon fruit in the region); 4) Special topics; and 5) Future prospects and challenges; .
  • General discussion and consensus on the possible structure and function of a regional network on the whole value chain of dragon fruit.
  • Forming the regional network comprise researchers, advisory officers, farmers, marketers members and etc.



  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Taiwan
  • Food and Fertilizer Technology Center for the Asian and Pacific Region
  • Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute
  • The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research


Organizing Committee of the Workshop

  • Keziah Wei (FFTC) at < >
  • Bob Fullerton (PFR) at
  • Junne-Jih Chen (TARI) at
Major findings and recommendations
  1. Follow up research work on the latest breeding techniques for dragon fruits, farm mechanization, extension of shelf life, use of silicon fertilizers and other guides to fertilizer use.
  2. Do research work to determine optimum concentrations of major and minor elements in dragon fruit cladodes.
  3. Provide more information on the use of pesticides and fungicides in dragon fruits.
  4. Document the best practices in dragon fruit production, as well as quarantine and protocols of different dragon fruit growing countries and share it with the members of the regional network.
  5. Strengthen tie-ups with research institutions and the academy e.
  6. Develop a mechanism for the provision of disease detection kits in the region.
  7. Improve the use of ICTs in dragon fruit production to include the use of smart phones, phone apps, remote sensing, smart use of fertilizers, etc.
  8. Develop market studies for dragon fruit including market entries and access, postharvest practices, consumer preferences and customer requirements.


Keynote Paper I

New Agricultural Policy: Toward a Better Pitaya Industry in Taiwan | Paper: PPT:
Dr. Wen-Li Lee

Country Report I

Dragon Fruit Production in Vietnam: Achievements and Challenges | Paper: PPT:
Dr. Xuan Hoat Trinh

Current Situation of The Dragon Fruit Industry in Malaysia | Paper: PPT:
Dr. Lilynorfeshah Binti Mohd Shah

Technical Report I

Innovative Pitaya Production Method | Paper: PPT:
Dr. Pi-Chuan Liu & Mr. Hsin-Liang Chen

The Evolution of Modern Horticultural Production Systems - Lessons for The Dragon Fruit Industries of Southeast Asia | Paper: PPT:
Mr. John Campbell

Novel Trellising and Plant Management Techniques for Dragon Fruit in Vietnam | Paper: PPT:
Ms. Thi Hoang Truc Le

Technical Report II

Pitaya Viral Diseases And Their Detection Methods in Taiwan | Paper: PPT:
Dr. Ya-Chun Chang

Pitaya Disease Management in Northern Thailand | Paper: PPT:
Dr. Sutasinee Nontajak

Insect Pest Management for Pitaya | Paper: PPT:
Dr. Yu-Bin Huang

The Life Cycle of Dragon Fruit Canker Caused by Neoscytalidium Dimidiatum and Implications for Control | Paper: PPT:
Dr. Bob Fullerton

Keynote Paper II

The Introduction of GAP and Quality System for Pitaya in Vietnam | Paper: PPT:
Dr. Van Hoa Nguyen

Country Report II

Profile of The Dragon Fruit Industry Profile and its Assistance Measures in Taiwan | Paper: PPT:
Mr. Li-I Chen

Current Status of Dragon Fruit and its Prospects in The Philippines | Paper: PPT:
Dr. Jocelyn E. Eusebio

Dragon Fruit in Cambodia | Paper: PPT:
Mr. Chesda Sao

Technical Report III

The Ability of Bipolaris cactivora to Cause Post-harvest Fruit Rot in Thailand and Its Prevention Treatment | Paper: PPT:
Dr. Niwat Sanoamuang

Postharvest Handling of Dragon Fruit (Hylocereus spp.) in the Philippines | Paper: PPT:
Mr. Arlan James Rodeo

Technical Report IV

Integrated Management for Postharvest Diseases in Taiwan | Paper: PPT:
Ms. Chu-Ping Lin

Postharvest Handling Management of Pitaya (Hylocereus spp.) | Paper: PPT:
Dr. Min-Chi Hsu

Effects of Maturity, Natural Antifungal Treatment and Washing Treatment on Postharvest Quality of Pitaya Fruits (Hylocereus Polyrhizus) | Paper: PPT:
Dr. Razali Bin Mustaffa

Technical Report V

Quarantine Requirements for the Importation and Exportation of Dragon Fruits in Taiwan | Paper: PPT:
Mr. Tang-Kai Wang

Identification of Colletotrichum Trucatum Causing Anthracnose Disease on Dragon Fruit and The Efficacy of Some Biological Tools on The Mycelial Growth of The Fungus and Disease Control | Paper:
Mrs. Dang Thi Kim Uyen


Dragon Fruit Regional Network Initiation Workshop

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