Food and Fertilizer Technology Center - publications

Oct. 27, 2015


Increasing production and market access for tropical fruit in the Asia-Pacific region under changing environment

The first part of the 2013 IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) reports that global mean temperatures will continue to rise over the 21st century if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated, and extreme climatic events will occur as published in AR4 in 2007. Although fruit tree species tend to be more resilient to climate change due to their perennial nature, weather aberrations inevitably affect fruit production, both in terms of quality and quantity, especially in temperate regions, posing a risk of substantial economic losses for fruit industry worth an estimated US$93 billion annually (Luedelingv et al. 2011).

The recent increased number of bilateral, plurilateral and regional free trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific region has rendered opportunities 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. To fully capitalize these opportunities—in addition to technological improvement in production and postharvest management—the mutually-agreed grading and safety standards as well as inspection systems for the region will have to be instituted. The proposed workshop is to provide a collaborative platform toward increasing international marketing potential of tropical fruit in changing natural and socio-economic environments.

Major findings and recommendations:

  • Research Needs: (a) Consistency in supply by changing in production; (b) Consistency in quality and safety; (c) Energy costs throughout value chain; (d) Climate change; (e) Food safety; (f) New products;
  • Emergence of significant markets for fresh cut fruits, low grade and fruit exhibiting appearance quality defects can be used;
  • Japan is expecting market for tropical fruits exporters if the products can meet consumers’ needs in quality, safety and functionality;
  • In Korea, most of tropical fruits are imported from Southeast Asian countries with banana and pineapple as major fruit imports. Korea is not suitable for cultivating tropical fruit, thus most cultivation is done in green house;
  • The Philippines' fruit production system ranges from backyard to highly integrated for the export market. The major species grown are banana, mango, pineapple, calamondin, papaya, durian, lanzones and watermelon;
  • The condition of Indonesia imbalance of fruit trade are: export (2.68%) vs. import (97.32%), and the annual fruit consumption is very low (24.76 kg/capita). Indonesia’s fruit production is based on small scale formers. International cooperation of research and development programs can help farmers improving fruit qualities and incomes;
  • In Myanmar, principal investigators focus on R&D of top four fruit. It is suggest that local and foreign researchers to invest value-added production and post-harvest industries. Right now, the value chain system is improved by GIZ.;
  • Strategy for Thai Fruit Development (2010 – 2014) and Horticultural Crop Research Strategy (2013-2016): increase production efficiency, increase the value of produces, expanding of domestic markets, expanding of export market, and improve the database of Thai fruit;
  • Vietnam starts to improve quality of fruit varieties, choose new varieties which have high yield and good quality; resistance and tolerance to diseases and climate changes. The management of phenology, floral induction, and fruiting are crucial to the cultivation of major production fruit: logan, rambutan, and guava.
  • Taiwan now has the capability of supplying sufficient amount of virus-free seedlings into the market. For example, infested passion fruit orchard can be replanted.

Increasing production and market access for tropical fruit in the Asia-Pacific region under changing environment

Held in My-Tho city, Vietnam 13-17 October 2014

No. of participating countries: 12 (Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, USA, Vietnam, New Zealand)

No. of participants: 5 resource speakers and 30 local observers

Co-organizers: Southern Horticultural Research Institute (SOFRI), Vietnam Council of Agriculture (COA), ROC, Taiwan

Resource papers

Research imperatives for improving international market access of tropical fruit

      -     Robert E. Paull and Nancy Jung Chen

Quality assurance and food safety handling for marketing tropical fruit in Asia

      -     Robert Nissen

Improving production and quality of selected tropical fruit through breeding and management

      -     Chung Ruey Yen

Management of phenology, flowering  and fruiting of longan, rambutan and guava

      -     Tran Van Hau

Emerging infectious diseases and insect pests of dragon fruit, passion fruit, citrus, longan

      -     Nguyen Van Hoa

Improving healthy planting material production to improve productivity and quality of tropical fruit

      -     Chin-An Chang

Marketing potential of Taiwan banana seedlings in Asia

     -      Chih Ping Chao

Research strategies to increase sustainable production of dragon fruit and passion fruit

      -     Bguyen Trinh Nhat Hang

JIRCAS research towards enhancement of tropical fruit production in Southeast Asia

      -     Naoko Kozai

Regional networking to enhance tropical fruit value chain for smallholder farms

      -     Yacob Ahmad


For further information, please contact Dr. George Kuo, FFTC Technical Consultant


The workshop participants on “Increasing Production and Market Access for Tropical Fruit in the Asia-Pacific Region Under  Changing Environment" are composed of five resource speakers and 30 local observers. Twelve participating countries travelled to Vietnam to attend the said workshop.

Workshop participants went on a boat ride to visit and observe the operations of a dragon fruit farm in Vietnam.

Speakers in the tropical fruit workshop in Vietnam talked about research needs in tropical fruit production and marketing, coping with climate change, food safety, emergence of significant markets, among others.

FFTC consultant Dr. George Kuo is the organizer of the Vietnam workshop on  “Increasing Production and Market Access for Tropical Fruit in the Asia-Pacific Region”.

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