In the late 90′s we conducted a technology search in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. We visited research and extension centers, and documented technologies generated by research institutions. We also conducted on-farm observations of innovative practices that farmers and traders apply in the production and postharvest handling of durian(Durio zibethinus Mur.) and mangosteen(Garcinia mongostana Linn.).
The technology search was useful in fastracking the generation of technologies which we made available to local farmers through the Handbook on Durian Production in the ASEAN and Handbook on Mangosteen Production in the ASEAN. These publications have helped in the expansion of both crops in the country. Durian is now one of the country’s major crops. It has been grown in over 20,000 hectares (ha) and provided high income to many fruit growers, especially the smallholders. It also provided employment to thousands of farm laborers, traders, processors, and businessmen. Similarly, mangosteen is emerging as one of the country’s major fruit crops and medicinal crops, which is being grown in over 5,000 ha.
When the Department of Agriculture awarded the senior writer as Outstanding National Agricultural Scientist in 1996, he used his cash prize to conduct technology search and extensive documentation of the technological practices in the production and postharvest handling of longkong and duku in southern Thailand and northern Malaysia.