Speakers and participants of the FFTC-VAAS-SOFRI international workshop on “Dragon Fruit Network: Marketing and the Whole Value Chain and Steering Committee Meeting” had 13 speakers plus five steering committee members from 10 countries (Cambodia, India, Japan, New Zealand, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, United States and Vietnam).
Venue: MyTho City, Vietnam
Date: September 9-11
Participating countries: 9 ( India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, USA and Vietnam)
Participants: 76 participants including 13 speakers
Papers presented: 12
Partners: Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute (TARI), Plant and Food Research Institute (PFRI)
Co-organizers: Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VAAS)
This is the second year of a three year project which includes information collection, survey of pests and diseases, integration of current research work on dragon fruit in the Asian and Pacific Region, the design and launch of the Dragon Fruit Network (DFNet) website, exchange of the latest dragon fruit related information, and the initiation and establishment of a DFNet. The project also organized and completed an international workshop and a steering committee meeting.
This year, much of this project focused on the design and launch of the DFNet website. To date, the DFNet website has been set up and contains 60 global news, 84 articles of dragon fruit, videos with several technical tutorials and dragon fruit fact sheet, etc. The website has 44 registration users and the accumulated number of hits from the launch of website until December 31, 2019 is 13,554. The website, envisioned to be an interactive repository of information related to the dragon fruit industry, is being updated on a weekly basis. According to Google Analytics, most visitors of the website come from India, Philippines, United States and Taiwan. A registration system is still under construction to provide visitors with another option to login in the DFNet website through their Facebook or Google accounts.
On September 9 to 11, the international workshop on “Dragon Fruit Network: the Marketing and the Whole Value Chain” kicked off at the SOFRI headquarters in Mytho City, Vietnam. The said workshop gathered 13 speakers from 10 countries with 76 participants. The speakers delivered presentations on the various aspects of the dragon fruit value chain, with special focus on dragon fruit marketing, consumer demand, quarantine requirements, etc. A special session was devoted to the sharing of experiences on the international marketing of dragon fruit. On the other hand, the country reports talked about the dragon fruit quality system and major industry constraints in different countries. In the afternoon of September 10, the speakers of the dragon fruit workshop gathered for the steering committee meeting. During the meeting, the DFNet website was introduced, and the discussion focused on information assembly and dissemination, which eventually led to the formation of four DFNet groups: 1) Breeding, germplasm exchange and production; 2) Postharvest handling; 3) Plant protection; and 4) Marketing.
Major findings and recommendations
1. Set up a concrete and workable plan among the members of the DFNet to prepare and procure dragon fruit healthy planting materials.
2. Share the knowledge and experiences of breeding, pests and diseases management, and postharvest handling in the dragon fruit research network from each country.
3. Promote the global GAPs concept to the growers and show how to run the sustainable dragon fruit production management, postharvest handling which can benefit the farmer's income; and, continue to share the information to the dragon fruit growers.
4. Collect pertinent information on the pre and postharvest technologies especially those pertaining to achieving the optimal fruit maturity at harvest, avoiding mechanical injuries, ensuring steps to meet “layer of protection” for food safety and achieve high fruit quality.
5. Prepare suitable educational materials and/or training modules for dragon fruit growers in each country. This can be in the form of simple brochures, leaflets, pamphlets, comics, videos, etc.
6. Continue to develop the research and development aspect of dragon fruits in the whole value chain.
List of papers
• Overall dragon fruit production and global marketing - Robert E. Paull and Nancy Jung Chen
• Shuttle breeding: a strategy for improving commercially grown pitaya - Wen-Li Lee and Pi-Chuan Liu
• Area wide suppression of Bactrocera fruit flies in dragon fruit in Bunh Thuan, Vietnam - Nguyen Thi Tanh Hien. et. al.
• Innovations on postharvest handling of dragon fruit in Vietnam (Abstract) - Nguyen Van Phong and Allan Woolf
• The challenge and experiences of dragon fruit farming and the difficulty of marketing channels for growers - Niwat Sanoamung
• The dragon fruit export challenge and experiences in Vietnam - Phan Thi Thu Hien
• Application of blockchain technology in food traceability: the case of dragon fruit in Vietnam - Dang Duc Chien
• The dragon fruit industry and import situation in Japan - Shinji Ohta
• Problems and opportunities of dragon fruit production in the Philippines - Teddy F. Tepora
• Dragon fruit production and marketing in Indonesia: standard quality in the global and regional levels - Irwan Muas, et al.
• Status and challenges of dragon fruit production in Malaysia - Ahmad Hafiz., et al.
• Dragon fruit country report from India - Ganesan Karunakaran et al.
Dr. Kuo-Ching Lin, Dr. Robert Paull, keynote speaker from Hawaii University and Dr. Nguyen Hong Son, President of the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
The DFNet steering committee meeting is basically aimed at forming and mobilizing the dragon fruit network. It is chaired by Dr. Bob Fullerton of the New Zealand Plant and Food Research Institute. Dr. Kuo-Ching Lin delivers an inspiring message to the whole group, motivating and encouraging everyone to take part in the building of a promising network of dragon fruit experts.
At the Tam Vu Cooperative located in Long An province, speakers and participants observe the real operations of a dragon fruit packing house with grading, sorting, cool storage and packing facilities.
In another packing house in Vietnam, dragon fruits are inspected and graded before they are packed, labeled and shipped to other countries.