Sunday, November 9, 2008

Nutrient Deficiency on Dragon fruits.

Nutrient defieciency is defined as lack of nutrient. There are basically 16 elements needed by the plants. They are N,P,K, Ca, Mg,Fe, Mg,Mn,Cu ,Bo etc. Of those N is very important . There are needed by the plants for growth and metabolism.

In one case I have seen dragon fruits suffered from N deficiency symptoms. This occurred in Kelantan, in the NW state of Malaysia - the soil is of bris type i.e. sand which is lack of organic matter. The symptom is shown in the yellowing of the whole mature branch and no disease detected.

If you encounter that problem, one should give a lot of organic manure or foliar spray .

The pic above how the symptoms look like. It is not actually disease but it is lack of N. If this matter continues the branch might dies and attack by pathogen which finally caused severe disease infection. Therefore, it should be prunned and cut off.

Should you have the same problem then you can email or contact me.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Do you know what is Pseudohaematuria? Pseudohaematuria can be due to dragonfruit ingestion
Have you eaten Dragon fruit lately? If you gorge on the stuff, be warned. Ingestion of Dragon fruit can cause a reddish discoloration of your urine and stool. This was discussed in the Dobbs forum recently, and for the unwary I guess it could be quite alarming. A quick Google search shows that local medical bloggers have already mentioned this.

Jellio also had a similar personal encounter.

Some other foodstuff which can discolor your urine: beetroot blackberries other naturally red foods carrots
Other causes of discolored urine: Medications (e.g. some laxatives, certain antibiotics eg rifampicin and some anti cancer drugs like anthracyclines)
Dyes Reddish discoloration of urine may of course be due to blood (haematuria) or haemoglobin (haemoglobinuria). Urine may be dark or tea colored in liver disease.

As always, you should consult your doctor, especially if there is any doubt.
Useful info link: Urine color

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Antioxidant-Rich Product from Red Dragon Fruit (Hylocereus polyrhizus)

We have put up one poster on the above entitles " Starter Culture Development for Antioxidant-Rich Product from Red Dragon Fruit (Hylocereus polyrhizus)" at one of our conference next week. I hope the poster will be accepted by the panel to gain at least one medal either silver or bronze. Hope for the best.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dragon Fruit Planting in Malaysia-It is At Crossroad?

There is so much problem of planting of dragon fruit planting in Malaysia.Partly, because it is not in the crop policy of the country. Actually one must remember that there are 15 fruit types been prioritized by the government in the National Agriculture Policy (NAP).They include starfruit,papaya,guava, nangka, mangosteen,durian,manggo, etc . These fruits are been gazetted to be planted in the so call in 'Agroclimatological Zones' meaning crops suitable to the climate.The government will support infrastructure, loans and technical needs to the farmers and agencies interested.

Of late dragon fruits have attracted many investors to dump their money and many get caught. Basically there need a lot to done- FAST and QUICK

1. Disease and resistant planting materials
2.Crop management practices need to be improved
3.Post harvest handling and storage
4.Transfer of technology should be fast and efficient

We dont want to be become like 'fire brigade phenomena'. That is once things done for example planting in a very big acre, disease came and did not know how to tackle the problem or during glut production did not know where to market the fruits.

Although there are already Cooperatives at national and state levels, still not moving smoothly.We should work harder make this industry look more lucrative and better than other farming.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

One-Day Seminar on Dragon Fruits

There was a seminar on dragon fruit which was attended by 170 participants. There were two guest speakers from Vietnam namely; Ms Phong and Dr Hoa.

Comparing dragon fruit production in Vietnam which is about 10,000 hectares with Malaysia with 1,000 hectares. This means that Malaysia has one-tenth of what Vietnam has.However, Malaysia has many years to go before it can overtake Vietnam; of course through R&D , and collaboration with various parties concern. My hypothesis is that oil palm and rubber which was once brought by the British colonial was not a Malaysian crop before, but they were from Africa and Brazil, respectively. Through research and continuous hard work, Malaysia has achieved to be the world producer - similarly that goes with dragon fruit. I believe with the technology that we own; we could meet our target and plans supported by our progressive farmers , entrepreneurs as well as 'big brothers' to venture and various parties concerned.

For what I forsee should Malaysia become the world player in this game, she has to come with its own disease free planting materials-back to basic. Educate the farmers on crop husbandry, sanitaion as well as post harvest handling. There are many farmers who had 'burnt their fingers' I must say. But if the transter of technology(TOT) is at par ; then I am pretty sure this goal can be achieved.

Back to Vietnam, they had succesfully achieved EUREGAP markets and still working on GLOBALGAP. There are more things need to be learnt and I am confident that we can make short cuts here and there before we can stand 'shoulder to shoulder' with them.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Latest Research Paper in World Food Net

Our paper was selected to be in world-food. net in the latest edition Journal of Food Agriculture and Environment Vol.6 entitles "Growth , yield and fruit quality of red dragon fruit (Hylocereus polyrhizus) fruit as affected by plant support system and intercropping with long bean (Vigna sinensis). by WFL Publisher. Abstract can be read here.

(Those who are interested and wish to have a full paper please let me know.)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Visit To Dragon Fruit Farm-40 acre

I have taken a video shot from one of the farms that I visited recently. This 10 -ac farm consisted of one-year plants that is well drained. The total acreage of this farm is 40 acres. The plants are about 1-5 years old. The management is good and they fertilize with organic manure.They planted with red and white varieties. The demand is very good and the supply could not meet the targets.
Another thing I would to stress is that drainage is very important if the land is very flat.In case of heavy rain or shower the water should be drained away quickly. Otherwise, this may cause damage to the rooting system.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Yellow Dragon Fruits

The most popular dragon fruits varieties are red and white. However, of late other varieties are in demand. I manage to propagate yellow dragon variety- about 2000 cuttings . Only the skin is yellow, the flesh is white and very sweet. Except the seeds are a little bit bigger than the two varieties. The plant is slender and the thorns are a bit smaller.

The above pic shows the shape of yellow dragon fruits and how the dragon fruit cuttings are rooted in small polybags. They are nutured , watered and looked after.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

After MAHA 2008

It was an exciting moment for farmers through out Malaysia. MAHA is the platform where everyone could see agricultural activities carried out by private sectors, farmers , government agencies, universities etc. Oversea and international participants include Australia, UK, India, China, Indonesia, Denmark and others .
The acceptance from the public was overwhelming. More than 1 Million people turned up for the 13-day exhibition.
I manage to put two posters one on" Disease control dragon fruits in farmer's farm, the other poster on Heliconia growing as landscape plants. My poster is in Malay (Bahasa Melayu)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Dragon Fruits Made Good Entry For MAHA 2008

I have become one of the panel judges for Fruit Section for the last five years. Fruits that enter the contest includes durian,nangka,citrus, pineapple, salak, pulasan, bananas, mangos, guava,wax apple, dragon fruits.They came from all over the states except Sarawak. Sarawak has never enter the fruits contest for so long. The fruits that came to the contest is from the various farms that was selected previously. All those farms are registered through Department Of Agriculture (DOA). There are 2 categories of assesement Farm leve (70%) Products (30%).

Dragon fruits seems this time had the largest entry i.e 8. I was suprised that there are different types of red dragon fruits judging from the scales of the fruits. There are variety which have less scales or bracts compared to the normal red ones. The second largest entry is pineapple and citrus i.e 5 followed by mangos 4 entry.

Those who win will received reward from the Prime Minister on the 12 th of August; appreciation and recognition for their hard work.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Good Dragon Fruits Farms

Yesterday I visited two farms nearby which are considered good. The most important in keeping good farm is

1) Fertilization
2) Pruning
3) Management.

These are the three basic things to ensure the sustenance of the farm. Both farms I visited are organic farms meaning that they applied organic fertilizers. Here are some pics to look at.

Those interested to order the organic fertilizer can email me at or call my handphone 012 3535 411 (see below). Detail testimony will be provided,

I have just planted the yellow type. I have more than 2,000 cuttings.

Organic ferilizer derived from fish (New Zealand product)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

MAHA 2008

Well the Malaysian Agriculture, Horticulture and Agro-Tourism (M.A.H.A. ) 2008 is very soon that will be held 11-23 August 2008. I have been assigned to become a judge in the fruit category. This means that I have to go to see all participated farms around the country in order to propose which are the best farms. The farms included guava, citrus, dragon fruits, salak, starfruits, mango etc. It is hefty alot of work organised by the Department of Agriculture as the secretariat.

I chose to go Sabah this time where I went to see citrus in Tawau, salak and dragon fruits in Sandakan and guava in Tenom.
View from Crocker Range

Most of the farms were very coordinated and managed well.

Coconut milk is sold everywhere in Sabah

Beautiful weed/legume I found

Dragon fruits flowering prosufely

Packaging of dragon fruits in boxes

Dragon fruits flowering

Dragon fruit plantation in Beluran area

Dragon fruits with heavy flowering

Salak plant and fruits in Sandakan area (below)

I enjoyed my trip from Tawau to Sandakan then go to Kota Kinabalu and later to Tenom by road.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Lighting for Dragon Fruits

Lighting installed in dragon fruit farm

I came across innovative farmers somewhere in Johore who manage to induce floweeing in dragon fruits using lights. Of course there are costs incurred however the yield produced could offsets the initial investments. As we know that that dragon fruits is a long day plant where more sunshine is needed especially to trigger flowering.

Flower buds emerged from terminal shoots

Here are some pics that can shared with hobbyists, planters and farmers alike so that they have some idea of what I am talking about.

There are more things to find out in particular;
a) what is the voltage and how long is used?
b) when and how should be it installed ?
c) the distant and height from each tree?

These are some questions that I posed during my visits to the farm. Should anyone interest to know more pls let me know.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

More on dragon fruits

Everything goes up...fuel, fertilizers, rice etc. How can we save costs on planting? It is a big challenge that we face in this quarter of century

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

More dragon fruit diseases-poster

There was a poster at the National Fruit Conference 2007 in Johere Bahru, Malaysia. It covers fungal and bacterial diseases. Why this happens and how to solve it.
Above in a poster regarding to dragon fruit diseases.

Should any one interested please email me or call me.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Disease -Free Dragon Fruit Planting Materials

The dragon fruit is usually propagated by seeds or cuttings. Although several studies have examined these general propagation methods of dragon fruit, no widely available information currently exist as to the protocols for production of high quality planting material of Selenicereus megalanthus via tissue culture system. Even in the absence of an efficient protocol, there remains the need to quantify the impact of micropropagated material of yellow dragon fruits in the field.

Plant tissue culture is an alternative method of propagation for large scale production of plants. Several researchers have developed a protocol for micropropagation of yellow pitaya. However, these reports lack the comprehensive key information on the large production of using tissue culture technology for the clonal propagation of yellow dragon fruit planting material.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Dragon Fruit Disease

Our early findings was that 'white spots' caused on dragon fruits branches was due to sucking insects. I have gone at least three farms around the country to find out what is the main cause of white spots. From my observations, we detected no fungus or bacteria- like diseases. Our hypotheses is that the pathogen attack or damage only when there were punctures or small holes made by insects.Therefore, the disease came in later once the tissue ruptured. Our mission is to control the vector. It is not easy to find the vector because it very very small or minute to be seen with our naked eyes.
Our solution was try avoid those insects using organic oils etc. Here are my comments in Malay language

Dari pengamatan yang dibuat, adalah di percayai keratan batang dan buah yang dihantar buah naga tuan telah di serang oleh kumbang halus (scale insect) dimana kesan gigitan terdapat pada kulit. Ada kemungkinan pendapat adalah disebabkan bakteria.

Rawatan pemberian racun berbentuk `broadspectrum’ seperti Decis, Rogor atau mempunyai racun yang mempunyai bahan aktif `dimethoate’ adalah difikirkan sesuai. Sekiranya jangkitan disebabkan bakteria racun Kocide boleh digunakan.

Disamping itu kebersihan ladang seperti rumput rumpai hendaklah dijaga. Syor kami ialah menyembur tanaman buah naga (dragon fruits) dengan baja foliar, racun kulat dan racun serangga berbentuk `cocktail’ iaitu bebe ntuk campuran. (10 g Welgrow (baja foliar); 10 g Lebacid (racun serangga) dan 20 g Manzate-D (racun kulat) di campur dengan 1 gelen air.