Tropical fruit training course benefits foreign participants

A group of overseas agricultural professionals applauded their 25-day training course which closed in Haikou, capital of tropical Hainan province, on Thursday, returning home on Friday with a lot of new knowledge and skills on tropical fruit production.

The Training Course on Production and Processing Technology of Tropical Fruits on Developing Countries attracted 28 overseas participants -- agricultural officials, researchers, university teachers and fruit company managers -- from seven developing countries: El Salvador, Ghana, Kenya, the Philippines, South Africa, South Sudan and Uganda.

During the three-week course, professors and experts from the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Science (CATAS) gave serial lectures and on the spot teaching on tropical crop cultivation, breeding, fertilization, intergraded pest management and processing of tropical fruits, according to Gao Xiuyun, an official with CATAS, which organized the event.

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An overseas participant feels the charm of the minority culture of the Li people in Hainan. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The training course also arranged visits to Hainan's tropical fruit demonstration bases, germplasm resource nursery and botanical gardens around the island. The participants also had opportunities to get close to the minority culture of the Li and Miao people in Hainan.

"The training course was very helpful and arrangements were impressive. I believe with the new skills learned in Hainan, the output of dragonfruit (pitaya) in my country is likely to grow 10 times from the current yield,'' said Medardo Antonio Lizano Sacchez, advisor to the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry of El Salvador.

Thomas Gerard Serafica, an officer from a fruit company from Ormoc City of the Philippines, said he learned a lot during the course. "The technology you have here is so advanced and practical. I was really amazed by the pitaya planted in rows. It is very efficient and economical," he said.

Judy Ngina, a Kenyan university faculty member who teaches courses on agricultural crop breeding, was especially impressed by the local tea culture and said it would be a wonderful thing if they could enjoy that in their own country someday.

For the past 15 years, CATAS has offered 94 training courses to a total of 3,766 participants from 95 countries, promoting food safety and agricultural development in the tropical regions around the world, said Gao.

Zhuo Min, an official with the Hainan Provincial Department of Commerce, said at the closing ceremony that Hainan has been pushing forward international tropical agricultural science and technology cooperation in recent years for common prosperity.

And development of the Hainan Free Trade Zone and Free Trade Port with Chinese characteristics will bring greater space for international cooperation in fields such as tropical and high-efficiency agriculture, shipping and logistics, energy development, fishing and ocean economic and construction of infrastructure projects.

"I hope the participants will serve as envoys of agricultural cooperation and a bridge for collaborative economic and trade development in the future," said Zhuo.

Responsible editor: 陈书敏
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