- FFTC-KU Risk Management on Agrochemicals through Novel Technologies for Food Safety in Asia
- International Seminar on Improving Food Marketing Efficiency-the Role of Agricultural Cooperatives
- Workshop on Improving Pitaya Production and Marketing
- FFTC-MARDI International Seminar on Cultivating the Young Generation of Farmers with Farmland Policy Implications
September 7-9, 2015
Fengshan Tropical Horticultural Experiment Branch, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute
Southern Horticultural Research Institute
- Background / Highlights of Activity
Background and Rationale:
Pitaya or dragon fruit (Hylocereus spp. and Selenicereus spp.) is a climbing-vine cactus species native to the tropical forest regions of Mexico and Central and South America. In the past two decades, it has gained popularity among producers, exporters and consumers alike in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam where agro-environmental conditions are conducive for growing this fruit plant. In Vietnam alone, its cultivation area is reaching near 30,000 hectares with 640,000 ton of fruit products in 2013. And several factors are accountable for the popularity of this crop: 1) high net returns; 2) functional properties because of its high level of antioxidants; and 3) emerging export potential to high-value markets in developed countries due to its uniqueness and health benefits. Pitaya also shows certain agronomic features that improve its potential as a replacement crop with high commercial value. These characteristics include: 1) the relative ease of propagation by cuttings; 2) its relatively low crop maintenance; 3) the short turnaround time between planting and harvesting compared to other tropical fruit trees; 4) its high yield rate; and 5) as a perennial crop, with proper care, it can provide a steady income.
However, on the negative side, many factors limit pitaya potential productivity and downgrade fruit quality. Among them, heavy rainfall events or poor crop management practices such as over-watering can cause flowers to drop, and fruit to split or rot. Apart from limiting the pitaya crop to reach its yield potential, prevailing poor production technologies also lead to serious occurrences of diseases and pests. Currently, anthracnose, stem canker, brown stem spots, and fruit rot are prevalent in major pitaya growing areas in the Asian-Pacific region. And the emerging infectious stem canker has recently caused collapses of many pitaya orchards in Southeast Asia. Protection measures to control these diseases with chemical pesticides are not only costly to small-scale farmers, they also can disrupt natural biological control, and are damaging to human health and the environment. On the other hand, to access higher-value markets of local, regional or international importance, pitaya fruit products need to be free from diseases, pests, blemishes and pesticide residues, along with desirable size, shape, color and taste. Addressing these issues, the implementation of integrated crop management systems including the use of healthy planting materials can improve yield and quality, forcing culture techniques extend the harvest season, and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), which involve a systematic, stepwise on-farm operation, assure fruit product safety and quality that will benefit both farmers and consumers.
Therefore, the Food and Fertilizer Technology Center (FFTC) for the Asian and Pacific Region, Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute (TARI), and the Southern Horticultural Research Institute (SOFRI) in Vietnam join hands to organize the workshop to share the latest advances in understanding the constraints limiting pitaya production and marketing as well as newly-developed doable technologies such as optimal spacing, trellising, disease diagnosis, integrated pest management, pruning, phenology manipulation, and GAP that increase pitaya productivity, safety and marketability.
1) To contribute to the improvement in pitaya productivity, safety and marketability
2) To share the current state of pitaya research
3) To identify areas for collaboration in research and exchange of plant materials
Venue:Fengshan Tropical Horticultural Experiment Branch (FTHEB), which is a branch of Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute. The Branch was established in 1940 for the improvement of fruit and vegetables adaptable to tropical and sub-tropical environments. Its 64-hectare site is located in Kaohsiung City (22°33' N and 120°22'E) where average temperature during summer is around 33 degrees Celsius and average rainfall in the wet season could reach 2,000 mm. FTHEB with 70-plus research and technical staffs under four research departments has been successful at breeding and selecting tropical fruit and vegetables, improving diagnostic and research techniques, and developing innovative pre-harvest and post-harvest management systems to enhance productivity and quality.
BREEDING, PHYSIOLOGY AND CROP MANAGEMENT
MANAGEMENT OF DISEASES AND INSECT PESTS
11. Pathogen Identification and Management of Pitaya Canker and Soft Rot in Taiwan
Chu-Ping Lin, Hui-Fang Ni, Pao-Jen Ann, Hong-Ren Yang, Jiao-Wen Huang, Ming-Fuh Chuang, S.L. Shu , S.Y. Lai, Yi-Lu Jiang, and Jyh-Nong Tsai (507)
VALUE CHAIN INITIATIVES
Highlights of the Workshop on Improving Pitaya Production and Marketing