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).