Postharvest R & D concerning tropical fruits
This study evaluates the economic impact of two projects supported by ACIAR over the period 1983 to 1991, relating to postharvest handling of tropical and subtropical (hereafter referred to jointly as tropical) fruit crops. The ACIAR projects involved a number of research providers including the Queensland Department of Primary Industries (QDPI), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Divisions of Horticulture and Food Technology, and institutions in Asian countries, principally Thailand. The investment by ACIAR and partner organisations in these projects totalled over A$2 million in nominal dollar terms. The projects addressed issues of wastage and quality deterioration in tropical fruit storage and distribution with emphasis on pre-harvest treatments, storage conditions and the prevention or delay of disease onset and impact. Benefits accruing to tropical fruit interests in Australia and Thailand from these projects are identified in the following evaluation and a number of these benefits are valued, allowing investment criteria for the overall investment in research and development (R&D) to be estimated. One interesting feature of this study is that one of the benefits accruing to Australian longan producers has been derived from technologies developed earlier in Thailand as a result of support from the ACIAR projects. A second interesting feature is that the total benefits are approximately equally divided between Thailand and Australia.