Now on its 8th year, the Dragon Fruit project aims to further strengthen the collaboration and interaction within the dragon fruit research collaboration network.
Type of activity: Network
Date & venue: January-December, Taiwan
Organizer: Food and Fertilizer Technology Center for the Asian and Pacific Region
In 2016, FFTC, Mekong Institute (MI), and New Zealand Plant and Fruit Research (PFR) conducted a regional workshop on the “Control of Dragon Fruit Diseases” held in Khon Kaen, Thailand. One of the important recommendations was to form a collaborative research and development (R&D) network on the control of dragon fruit diseases and pests in the region.
Based on this recommendation, in 2017 FFTC proposed a three year dragon fruit proposal to MOFA, Taiwan, which aims to form a dragon fruit collaborative research network on the control of dragon fruit diseases and pests in Southeast and South Asia. It will focus on areas of improvement of different countries with dragon fruit production and forge an agreement between dragon fruit experts to create a mechanism for information sharing. 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 on November 27-30, 2017. After discussion, two suggestions are as follows: 1) The “Dragon Fruit Regional Network Initiation Workshop & Steering Committee Meeting” will be held in Taiwan on April 22-27, 2018; 2) The whole value chain spectrum for dragon fruit is included. In 2018, FFTC, TARI, and PFR organized a workshop on “Dragon Fruit Regional Network Initiation Workshop & Steering Committee Meeting” and steering committee meeting on April 23 to 26 in Taipei and Taichung. This workshop focuses on the whole value chain spectrum for dragon fruit which includes the topics of new varieties, crop management, management of pests and diseases, pre and postharvest management, and quarantine and marketing. In the steering committee meeting, the experts reached a consensus that FFTC should take the lead in this dragon fruit network and if the funds are available, the Vietnamese expressed their willingness to host the next dragon fruit regional network meeting.
On September 9-11, 2019, the workshop entitled “The Dragon Fruit Network: Marketing and The Whole Value Chain” was held at SOFRI, Vietnam, and a dragon fruit network (DFNet) steering committee meeting was held and composed by workshop speakers. During the meeting, four groups were formed: 1) breeding, germplasm exchange and production; 2) postharvest handling; 3) plant protection; and 4) marketing. Each group has elected a group leader. The group members have agreed to help in information sharing, developing collaborative research programs and preparing joint proposals for research funding.
This project started in 2017 and next year will be the third year of a three-year project. The initial three-year proposal is to get the seed funding to start up the network. The purpose of this network is to set up a platform for forming research team to come up with research proposals and to apply for research funding from international funding agencies. In the third year, the network will be strengthened and to improve the functions of network.
• Establish a mechanism to maintain an effective dragon fruit research network.
• Strengthen the collaboration and interaction within the dragon fruit research network.
• Establish a mechanism to manage the dragon fruit website to facilitate the information collection and dissemination.
• Formulate dragon fruit research project.
• Identify the constraints and opportunities to enhance dragon fruit quality and productivity in the region.
• Share the dragon fruit whole value chain research information in dragon fruit network website.
• Summarize and conclude the feasibility and network function, based on 2017-2020 dragon fruit project.
• Formulate a dragon fruit network proposal for 2021 to 2023.
• Dragon fruit network members, dragon fruit researchers, government officials, and farmers.