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Fruit Growers Molokai Mini-Conference  

HTFG News Release

The 24th Annual Hawaii International Tropical Fruit Conference is September 12-14 at the Kahili Golf Course on Maui. Geared to farmers, educators, orchard managers and proponents of sustainable agriculture, the weeklong event is presented by the statewide Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG) and open to the public.

The annual gathering continues September 15-19 with abbreviated sessions on Molokai, Oahu, Kauai, Hilo and Kona. Molokai’s inaugural mini-conference is Monday, Sept. 15 to accommodate a growing, active chapter on The Friendly Isle.

The Maui conference is titled “It’s All About Production” and offers a variety of breakout sessions, plus visiting researchers and agro experts. Professor Roger Leakey, crop physiologist, will give the keynote address, “The Domestication of Tropical Trees as New Fruit and Nut Crops.” Dr. Leakey is the former director of research at the International Center for Research in Agroforestry and professor of agroecology and sustainable development of James Cook University in Australia.

Other speakers include tree-pruning expert Dr. Yoshimi Yonemoto of the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences, who will offer “Training and Pruning for Production,” He will demonstrate how to keep mangos under five feet tall and produce copious amount of fruits, while Dr. John Preece of the USDA and National Clonal Germplasm Repository in California will discuss “Vegetative Propagation of Difficult Woody Plants.”

Considered the world’s leading expert on post-harvest technology, the University of Hawai’i’s Dr. Robert Paull will do a dinner presentation on “Phenology, Productivity and Profits.”

HTFG Executive Director Ken Love says intimate breakout sessions will cover specific crops, while delving into a wide range of topics like “Selling to Whole Foods” by Steve Carey and “Soil Vitality and On-Farm Mentoring” by Vince Mina. Breakout presenters include Scot Nelson, Gabe Sachter-Smith, Craig Elevitch, Tom Baldwin, Brian Lievens, Leakey, Yonemoto, Preece and Paull. In addition, there will be Sunday roundtable and panel discussion touching on marketing and “Where Do We Go from Here?”

The Molokai gathering includes a talk about propagation by Preece, plus Yonemoto will do a tree pruning demonstration on how to grow a 24x15x4-foot-tall mango tree to produce nearly 1,000 mangoes. Molokai attendees should contact Amy Maeda for info, guavanut@gmail.com.

All attendees registering for the Maui event before August 1 enjoy a discounted fee of up to $75; visit htfg.org for details. Registration forms and fee schedule are available on the website or by contacting Love at kenlove@hawaiiantel.net or Mark Suiso at suiso@aloha.net.




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