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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Hilo, Hawaii » Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center » Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research » Research » Research Project #437003

Research Project: Systems Approaches to Improve Production and Quality of Specialty Crops Grown in the U.S. Pacific Basin

Location: Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research

Project Number: 2040-22430-027-012-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 15, 2019
End Date: Sep 14, 2024

The overall goal of the project is to develop research and technology that address key challenges throughout the production system, and that benefit growers of diverse specialty crops such as macadamia nut, coffee, cacao, tropical fruit, ornamentals, cucurbits, breadfruit, and taro. Specific objectives are to: 1) develop pest and disease management strategies for important specialty crops grown in the U.S. Pacific Basin; 2) employ traditional breeding and genetic techniques to develop horticultural cultivars with disease resistance and value-added traits; 3) develop methods to improve nutrient and water availability to enhance crop production and quality; and 4) develop management systems for under-utilized specialty crops that are economically viable.

The research will use a systems approach to solve key problems that limit the productivity, quality, or economic viability of diverse specialty crops. Strategies include breeding and genetics, disease resistance, early detection and novel control of pests, optimized cultural practices, and postharvest systems. Traditional breeding and genetic techniques will be used to develop insect, disease and drought resistant horticultural cultivars, with an emphasis on ornamentals, cucurbits and tropical fruit. Clonal propagation, use of tolerant rootstocks, biological control, and soil amendments will be evaluated for disease and pest control, yield and quality of cacao, coffee, and/or macadamia nuts. Preharvest and postharvest systems will be developed for under-utilized crops or import replacement crops to expand the availability of locally produced food.