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2019/09/24

THE DRAGON FRUIT INDUSTRY AND IMPORT SITUATION IN JAPAN

Tropical fruits are getting more and more popular in Japan. Historically banana is the top imported product in Japan. Due to local production of tropical fruits such as mango, Japanese consumers have more chances to purchase tropical fruits. According to the government's statistics of fruits import, dragon fruit does not appear on the list as its current imported quantity is much less than that of others. In the case of vegetables, lots of varieties of tomatoes are distributed in Japan. Primary value of popular tomato is its brix, which is one of the preferences of Japanese consumers. In order to meet those demands, Japanese growers are developing new varieties to make their business profitable. Distributors are promoting those high value products as “fruit tomato.” In terms of distribution, JA, Japan Agricultural Cooperatives, has been handling fruits and vegetables in the local market in Japan. This conventional distribution system is still a major channel in Japan, however, imported materials are mainly procured by large trading companies and those products are distributed through distributors. In both cases, distribution channel takes longer to reach the consumers. Although banana is the top imported tropical fruit in Japan, avocado shows remarkable growth record in the last decade. Compounded annual growth rate of avocado import is more than 10%. Major reason for this growth is that variety of recipe is introduced to consumers and longer shelf life supports lead time of product distribution in Japan. Based on the current situation of popular fruits and vegetables, key success factor to develop dragon fruit market in Japan is to control quality, brix, shelf life, distribution channel and price.
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2019/09/24

DRAGON FRUIT PRODUCTION AND MARKETING IN INDONESIA: STANDARD QUALITY IN THE GLOBAL AND REGIONAL LEVELS

Dragon fruit, Hylocereus spp., is one of the introduced fruit crops in Indonesia. This plant became popular and cultivated since 2000. Red flesh dragon fruit variety is the most widely cultivated. Indonesia has two types of dragon fruit region based on flowering and fruiting seasons. The first type is the area near the equator, the flowering and fruiting season  occuring throughout the year. The second type of region is in the Southern Hemisphere, more than 5o S, with the flowering and fruiting season occuring from November to April. Most of Indonesian dragon fruit production are sold in the local markets and small portion for export markets. Some problems in production of dragon fruit include pests and diseases, and low productivity. Stem canker, caused by  Neoscytalidium dimidiatum, is the main disease which destroyed more than hundreds of hectares of dragon fruit orchard in Indonesia.  The enhancement of production and fruit quality are  done through  following the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Integrated Pest Management (IPM), using resistant pests and disease, variety, and organic cultivation.  Reduction application of pesticides and inorganic fertilizers and increasing organic fertilizers must be promoted to the farmers. In order to fullfill export standards the dragon fruit orhards which have been applied with good production system should be registered. The main quality standard in the local market based on fruit size which were categorized as grade A (> 400 g) , B (200 - 400 g) and C (<200 g). Meanwhile, the quality standard for export market are depend on the importer country. Besides grade,  the quality standards for global market were free from  pests and diseases, no pesticide residue and post-harvest handling is done at registrated packing houses. To enhance dragon fruit quality standard, some importer countries have collaborated with Indonesian Agricultural Quarantine Agency (IAQA).
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2019/09/24

STATUS AND CHALLENGES OF DRAGON FRUIT PRODUCTION IN MALAYSIA

Dragon fruit or pitaya is a nutritious and exotic fruit that has gained a place in Malaysian fruit industry even though it was not native to this country. Dragon fruit can be harvested all-year round and it bears fruits after one year of planting. Potential yield of dragon fruit is estimated around 10 to 12 metric tons (mt) per hectare (ha) annually. Currently, there are about 680 ha of planted areas, which produce 6,407 mt or US$ 6 million in 2017. About 36% of Malaysian dragon fruit is for export market mainly to Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong with average export value of US$ 2 million for the past 5 years. Dragon fruit production area reaches highest peak in 2008 with 2200 hectares and its production reached highest in 2009 with 15,700 mt. In 2017 Johor and Melaka dominated 48% (325.2 ha) of the total planted area, followed by Selangor (80.1 ha) and Negeri Sembilan (68.2 ha). Like many other fruit crops, dragon fruits are susceptible to diseases. In Malaysia, the plants are sensitive to fungal, bacterial and viral infections, which can lead to several complex diseases namely, anthracnose, stem necrosis, stem canker, stem and fruit rot. There were several strategies which have been applied in Malaysia to prevent and control diseases on dragon fruit.
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2019/09/24

DRAGON FRUIT COUNTRY REPORT FROM INDIA

Dragon fruit (Hylocereus spp.), a herbaceous perennial climbing cactus, widely  known as Red Pitaya, has recently drawn much attention among the Indian growers, not only because of its attractive red or pink color and economic value as fruit, but also valued for its high antioxidant potential, vitamins and minerals content. Being a native of Southern Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica, dragon fruit was introduced in India during the late `90s and still the area under its cultivation is gradually increasing. Farmers in the Indian states of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Orissa, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Andaman & Nicobar Islands have already taken up its cultivation, and the estimated total area under Dragon fruit cultivation in these regions may be less than 400 ha. Majority of the dragon fruits presently available in Indian markets are imported from Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. Being a cactus family and requires long day for flowering, dragon fruit cultivation is well suited in the agro-climatic regions of  Southern, Western and North Eastern  India that are dry and frost-free. Due to high demand both in domestic and international markets, dragon fruit production could be an economical avocation to both backyard growers as well as entrepreneurs of medium and large scale plantations. Cultivation of dragon fruit already started in different parts of India with many success stories of farmer from different regions. Many nursery men started propagation for raising planting material of dragon fruit. One of the widely grown cultivars and most commonly available dragon fruit is the red color epicarp with white and pink pulped sub-sweet juicy pulp matrix. It is a fast return perennial fruit crop with economic production in the first year after planting, and full production within three to five years. It was also noted to initially produce in its first years on wards provided desirable cultural management practices are applied. Although the initial investment is relatively high, profit is substantial within 4-5 years. The red flesh species i.e H. costaricensis are additionally rich in betalains, meeting the increasing trade interest for antioxidant products and natural food colorant. Fruits are easy to keep fresh under room condition. The crop is hardy and can survive in any type of climatic condition favorable for flowering and fruiting and soil condition provided with good drainage.
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2019/09/24

APPLICATION OF BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY IN FOOD TRACEABILITY: THE CASE OF DRAGON FRUITS IN VIETNAM

Vietnam, the first and the sole country, has gained permission to export dragon fruits to Australia since September 2017. To be a qualified exporting country, Vietnam has to meet a range of import conditions, one of which is the ability to trace dragon fruits back to production areas. To support such traceability system, the Australian Embassy, the Asia Foundation and the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development in Vietnam joined hands to establish a block-chain based identity and proof-of-provenance platform that allows to trace a single dragon fruit back to single farmer, as well as provide various information attaching to the journey of dragon fruits from farms in Vietnam to importers in Australia. This system was piloted in two dragon fruit exporting companies, Hoang Phat Fruit Co., Ltd and Yasaka Fruit Co., Ltd. This paper introduces dragon fruit value chains of the two companies, process to set up and operation of the traceability system and arising challenges. We find that the willingness to adopt new technology of exporting companies, rather than small farmers, is absolutely important to the success of the system.
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2019/09/24

PROBLEMS AND OPPORTUNITES OF DRAGON FRUIT PRODUCTION IN THE PHILIPPINES

Dragon fruit is among the most nutritious and wonderful exotic fruits in the world.   Dragon fruit production is a profitable enterprise and a promising means of raising the income of farmers in the Philippines.  The continuously increasing land area planted to dragon fruit indicates its great potential as  a  commercial  crop.  Since  its  introduction,  Research  and  Development  endeavors  continue  to brighten the horizon of dragon fruit in the Philippines. The support of government agencies such as the Departments  of  Science  and  Technology  (DOST),  Department  of  Agriculture  (DA)  and  Local Government Units (LGU) in supporting the local farming communities, Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Product Standards (BAFPS) in the development of the Philippine National Standard for fresh dragon fruit classification and grading played a vital role in developing the dragon fruit industry as a money making business. Major constraints were identified such as low yield, prevalence of insect pests and diseases, short shelf life of fruits, and marketing problems. Despite increasing volume of harvest, the fruits have been plagued by piercing and sucking insects causing unsightly damage to the fruit peel with the flesh still intact.   Consequently, this rendered the fruit unmarketable due to its unattractive appearance. These problems have prompted researchers to develop processed products like jam, jelly, puree, juice, wine and cider vinegar as value adding technologies to save the damaged dragon fruit from going into waste. An IPM program utilizing environmentally friendly control measures that will reduce risk to human health and environment must be developed to address emerging problems on pests and diseases. Minimizing post-harvest losses can increase meeting the demands for fresh fruits.  Along with this, post-harvest infrastructure and management must be given ample attention.  Dragon fruits in the Philippines are slowly finding its way to the international market which calls for the adoption of an aggressive marketing strategy and development of export infrastructure giving consideration to the quality standard set by potential importing countries.
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2019/09/23

SHUTTLE BREEDING: A STRATEGY FOR IMPROVING COMMERCIALLY GROWN PITAYA

Pitaya or dragon fruit (Hylocereus spp.) is a popular fruit with rapid development in Taiwan growing from 900 to 2,800 ha over the last decade. New varieties created from species and genus were well conducted by growers and breeders in past decades. The quality of white flesh pitaya is more stable compared with the red one but the red pitaya is the most popular in Taiwan because of its sweet taste and high antioxidation propertu. Meanwhile, the unstable fruit size, hand pollination requirement, and fruit cracks are the major problems for red pitaya. For breeding new pitaya variety in Taiwan, pleasant flavor, spineless, special flesh color, large fruit size, and long shelf life have been conducted. More than 200 hybrids of pitayas were selected, some of them became popular in Taiwan in recent years, such as 'Vietnam White', 'Mi-Long', 'Da-Hong' and Xiao-Tien-Tien. The goals of those breeding program will focus on variable color, quality and texture for consumers and has lower flower initiation, spineless for farmers. However, those goals of different country breeders are not quite the same and breeding work are costing money and time. Shuttle breeding is an effective way for created new varieties and reduced time and money. In this article we will give an idea for international cooperation and work together for those interested breeders to accelerate the release of newly bred pitaya.
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2019/09/23

DRAGON FRUIT ON- AND OFF-SEASON PRODUCTION IN THAILAND

Thailand is one of the tropical countries that can grow dragon fruit being both an exporter and importer of the fruit depending on months of the year.  Most dragon fruit production in Thailand can be harvested from natural season production (April to October). However, for the off-season (November to March), there is less amount of fruit that can be produced   and imported.  The main production areas are in Thailand’s central plains and the uplands of the northeast.  The problems of the on-seasonal production are fruit oversupply in June-July whereas the limited off-season production can be produced only in irrigated areas.  Induction of the off-season flowering by means of additional light is effective but are limited by a relatively high energy cost.  Off-season flower induction using CPPU can be done at a lower cost and faster.  However the limitation of this method requires grower’s skills to find the proper buds to induce  flowering. . Most produce are sold and consumed in the country. Some qualified for export standards can be exported overseas.  Post-harvest technology research can prolong the dragon fruit for long-distance export but are not commercially implemented.  In general the Thai dragon fruit production is predicted to increase with the use of appropriate technology and methods to control the chemical residue to meet the export standards.
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2019/09/23

AREA WIDE SUPPRESSION OF BACTROCERA FRUIT FLIES IN DRAGON FRUIT IN BINH THUAN, VIET NAM

In Viet Nam, fruit flies (Bactrocera dorsalis Hendel and Bactrocera correcta Bezzi) are among the most economically important pests attacking fruits including dragon fruits (Hylocereus undatus and Hylocereus spp.), which have high economic value for domestic consumption and exportation. The total cultivated area for dragon fruit in Viet Nam is about 42 000 ha; among that, Binh Thuan is the largest dragon fruit producer with about 29 447 ha. The Area-wide Integrated Pest Management (AW-IPM) has been implemented in Ham Hiep village (Ham Thuan Bac district, Binh Thuan province, Viet Nam) since October 2016 under structure of core zone (581 ha) and buffer zone (986 ha). Management strategies included field sanitation and male annihilation techniques (MAT) were applied in both zones. Additionally, in the core zone, protein bait spray was applied while a contiguous area under farmer practice was used as the control. The results showed the highest number of fruit flies per trap per day (FTD) with 2.2 and 4.11 FTD in core zone and buffer zones, respectively in comparison with 28.93 FTD in the farmers practice area. The results clearly indicated the advantage of integrating of several methods in an AW-IPM approach to build up the model with low prevalence of fruit flies for the dragon fruit production region.
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