Avocado production continues to boom, but as more countries enter the market, the global share from U.S. growers has dropped from 57% to 27% in just 10 years.
In a major effort to improve avocado production, competitiveness, and sustainability nationwide, the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded $68 million in new “Specialty Crop Research Initiative” grants to 23 recipients.
One of these projects, a $4.4 million "Reducing Avocado Losses to Major Challenges by Improving Resistance Selection and Disease Management Using Next Generation Technologies” grant, includes Dr. Miaoying Tian, Dept. of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences, and Sharon Motomura-Wages, Dept. of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences.
“This is so exciting!” says Miaoying. “The long-awaited support to enhance Hawaiʻi's avocado industry is finally here.”
Working under UC-Riverside, the CTAHR crew will characterize pathogen populations, identify disease-resistant germplasm from Hawaiʻi collections, and evaluate the performance in Hawaiʻi of elite rootstocks selected by the California Rootstock Breeding Program. Miaoying and Sharon also will introduce effective fungicides, rapid in-field diagnostics, and advanced management strategies to local producers.
View the grant summary.