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Pitaya is native in tropical America, produced locally and popular in local market, some exported to North America and Europe. It is produced in Nicaragua (red pitaya), Columbia (yellow pitaya) and Ecuador (both red and yellow). After hundreds year, the pitaya is spread to most of tropical and subtropical area and become new potential fruit crop in past 3 decades. Professor Mizrahi led and started the pitaya research since 1984 in Israel. The achievement is significant and they have great contribution to the pitaya industry in the world. The products are exported mainly to Europe. Pitaya was introduced into Taiwan more than 300 years, however, the industry was only started after the introduction of new self-compatible varieties from Vietnam in 1980s. The pitaya area is about 1000 ha and the varieties and technology released here were further transferred to China and Southeast Asia. Pitaya has been in Vietnam more than hundreds years and recently boomed to 24.8 thousands ha and 486.6 thousand tons in 2012. Among them, 80% (20% of fruit and vegetables exported) was exported to China (71.5%) and other countries. The value of pitaya export was 0.203 billion in 2013. The main production area (some with Global GAP) is in BinhThuan and Tien Giang provinces (Southern Vietnam). First red flesh variety, Long Dinh 1, with red parent from Taiwan, was released by SOFRI in 2005. Lighting (15-25 days) is wide used to promote flower in Vietnam. Pitaya production in China, mainly in Guandong, Guanxi, and some extends to Guizou, increased rapidly in past decade and reached 10.9 thousand in 2013. Cold damage is the main problem in those northern area. Pitaya is produced in Thailand and Malaysia as well. However, humid climate induced serious pests and diseases which had hampered the pitaya industry in Malaysia. Most of varieties and technology either in China, Thailand or Malaysia are from introduced from Taiwan. Pitaya is a new and minor crop in Australia and USA. Several growers are interested and trying some introduced varieties. There are about 40 ha (62.2% in Northern Territory) and 750 tons of white pitaya were produced in Australia in 2014. In United States, pitaya is only produced in Hawaii, South California and Florida. There are some activities supported by Rare Fruit Association in these area.
Author: Chung-RueyYen, Dinh Ha Tran, Yi-Lu Jiang

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