Tropical fruit offer a significant opportunity for agricultural and economic growth for many developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region. They also help fill in the gaps during the low season of fresh fruit supply in the temperate region and are adapted to extreme weather elements caused by climate change. With the recent increased number of bilateral, plurilateral and regional free trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific region, opportunities arise for tropical fruit producers and entrepreneurs to expand the supply of their products to markets within and outside their regions of origin. Opportunities also appear for producers to participate in domestic production and marketing of tropical fruit in the countries other than their own. Nevertheless, the potential of expanding international marketing of tropical fruit has been offset by increasing complex issues of enhancing production efficiency with appropriate varieties, diagnostic tools, structural components, tools, machineries, etc.; quality requirements of imported tropical fruit products; intellectual property rights of improved production materials; quarantine regulations; food safety protocols; the rising cost in production, distribution and compliance programs; etc. To tackle these issues for the advancement of the international marketing potential of tropical fruit, the sound science and technology programs will provide certain solutions. In this regard, however, all initiatives of R&D programs must be evidence- or analysis-based, including forward looking analysis about likely trends and future changes. From the outset, the R&D programs will have to define the needs in each of the key issues, to assess the available materials and methodologies, and to evaluate the feasibility of meeting these needs. Later on, the R&D programs will have to make sure that relevant knowledge and improved technologies generated from these programs are adopted and implemented by the tropical fruit producers and entrepreneurs.
Expected outputs and outcomes