A suite of five ACIAR small research activities (SRAs) is bringing together mango supply chain stakeholders and researchers from seven countries in a mango agribusiness program designed to understand the lucrative Chinese mango market and improve livelihoods for smallholder mango producers.
Robin Roberts is a professor in agribusiness at Griffith University, and the mango agribusiness program project lead. Researchers from seven countries—Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Pakistan, Vietnam and Australia—are participating in five ACIAR small research activities. The project aims to:
- Improve communication, collaboration and capacity development
- Identify market development opportunities and implications in China
- Identify research and development opportunities for entry of mangoes into Chinese markets
- Evaluate opportunities for improving mango quality
- Prioritise opportunities for processing mangoes in selected markets.
Roberts says the goal of the program is to engage Australian and partner country researchers in understanding the dynamic Chinese market and what is needed operationally for successful mango trade with China. The mango agribusiness program has cross-institutional and multidisciplinary teams working together to develop a common platform for mango quality, to understand the implications related to market entry and biosecurity in mango trade, to profile the breadth and depth of the market from an economic standpoint and to understand consumer mango demand. ‘It’s important information to share, especially with the technical people who are developing new varieties, to understand consumer and customer (retailer) preferences.’
‘The mango research information is the umbrella project,’ Roberts says, ‘and the key to the success of the project as a whole.’ This project has three streams: communication, collaboration and capacity building. A new Asia-Pacific Mango Network website , Facebook page and a newsletter, Simply Mango, were created to provide a platform for researchers and industry to communicate program activities and share ideas.
‘With multiple researchers across a number of partner country institutions, including the Australian Mango Industry Association and national governments,’ Roberts says, ‘effective collaboration is essential. The first priority is developing a mango research network’.