II International Symposium on Tropical Horticulture

Now is the Era for Tropical Horticulture

We live in an era when more people live in cities than in rural regions. Most of the fastest growing cities in the world are located in the tropics. These are sources of competition for energy, land and water but also opportunities of new markets and challenges for tropical horticulturists.

Breeding strategies and Best Agricultural Practices are (or will soon be) impacted by climate change and as tropical conditions move polewards. Is tropical horticulture resilient enough to withstand these challenges? How can we as horticulturists improve our production and postharvest practices and at the same time protect the environment and mimimize our inputs?

The world population will exceed 9 billion by the 2040s and by 2050, half of the world’s population will reside in the tropics. The problem is already with us with many of worlds poorest people live in tropical regions. What changes are necessary in our prioroties for development, research and education to secure a safe, adequate and secure food supply.. As horticulturists, we need to work together to realize the potential of tropical horticultural crops to meet the needs of our world.

There have been some real success stories in production of tropical horticulture production. China and Vietnam produce large quantities of fruits and vegetables to feed their populations and export horticultural produce to other countries. Thailand is well known for its production and export of tropical fruits. There have been many recent advances in tropical plant breeding in countries such as India and Brazil. More than 3000 fruits grow in the Brazilian rainforest. In the Asia Pacific region >400 species of tropical fruits and nuts are grown commercially or are harvested from forests and are important for income and nutrition, medicine, timber, fuel & livestock feed.

The tropical regions are home to many high value and highly nutritious food crops. For example, the Kakadu Plum (Terminalia ferdinandiana), which is indigenous to northern Australia, has the highest vitamin C content of any plant and contains 3000 to 5000mg of vitamin C per 100g of fruit. Much of the diversity of tropical fruits has yet to be studied in detail and used either directly or via breeding and selection to produce new food crops. In comparison to the vast effort that has been applied to the improvement of production practices in temperate horticultural crops, much essential research is yet to be applied to tropical species. There is great potential to develop and more effectively use this resource to the benefit of the world. Now is the era for tropical horticulture!


  1. Success stories in Tropical Horticulture
  2. Feeding Booming Tropical Cities
  3. Modification of Production Systems for Year Round Production
  4. Production Practices and the Environment
  5. Are We Ready for Climate Change
  6. Tropical Horticulture and Human Nutrition


Image of Professor Dr Roderick DrewProfessor Emeritus
Roderick Drew

has performed many leadership roles in both professional and voluntary organisations.

His research has focused on tropical fruits and he has worked on collaborative projects in many tropical countries.

He has been a member of ISHS since the early 1970s. He has initiated new working groups, convened new and established symposia (commencing with the “International Symposium on Biotechnology of Tropical and Subtropical Species” in Brisbane in 1997), and served as a council member for Australia. Read more…

Paull, Robert mugProfessor Robert Paull

I have been involved for over 30 years in research and teaching, and as a consultant to commercial companies, and national and international programs. This experience has included leadership positions as a convenor of symposium, workshops and college task forces, elected faculty senator, faculty association board member, and served for thirteen years as chairman of a University Department with 24 faculty.

My research program is focused on the adaptation and application of technology to the improvement of postharvest handling in an integrated and systematic way. Research covers production approaches to improving product quality of tropical fruit, vegetables and ornamentals, insect disinfestation and handling and marketing of these products. This research has lead to improvement in production practices, and the postharvest handling and marketing of these products. All the research is done in conjunction and support of local industries and individual growers, shippers and marketers. Read more…

Image of Dr Alain RivalDr Alain Rival

is the Resident Director for SouthEast Asian Island Countries and the Coordinator for Oil Palm Research at Cirad, the French Centre for International Cooperation in Agricultural Research for Development.

His research work focuses on epigenetic variation in higher plants, specifically in exploring the role of DNA methylation in the determination of somaclonal variation in the oil palm. Read more…

International Scientific Committee

  • Jenny Aitkin, New Zealand
  • Thanda Aung, Myanmar
  • Chung-Ruey Yen, Taiwan
  • Amanda Crump, USA
  • Maureen Fitch, USA
  • Sirichai  Kanlayanarat, Thailand
  • JDH (Dyno) Keatinge, UK
  • Vincent Lebot, Vanuatu
  • Elizabeth Mitcham, USA
  • Tan Joon Sheong, Malaysia
  • Kyle Stice, Fiji
  • Jim Simon, USA
  • Sisunandar, Indonesia
  • Apiradee Uthairatanakij, Thailand
  • Judy Zhu, USA


International Symposia on Tropical and Temperate Horticulture