It is acknowledged that grape is one of the most important fruit crops of the world and it contains many of the most valuable elements necessary for life. The crop has a wide adaptability, and grapes can be grown under temperate, sub-tropical and tropical climatic conditions and varied agro-ecological settings. Remarkable success has been achieved in grape production and productivity levels in certain countries of the Region, while in other countries the progress is very limited. Opportunities for the further development of the Regions grape industry appear to be very good, although problems to be addressed are many and serious. Realizing that the food, nutrition, medicinal and economic values of the crop could be of significant importance for the population of the Region, it is recognized that there is a need for enhancing the development of the grape industry.
Against the above backdrop, FAO organized a Regional Expert Consultation on Viticulture (Grape Production) in Asia and the Pacific at the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand, from 2 to 4 May 2000. Experts from concerned countries participated in the workshop. They were able to identify critical issues needing attention. The report of the consultation was published as RAP publication No. 2000/13, in August 2000, highlighting the major recommendations. This publication collates further useful information in the form of proceedings.
Appreciation is expressed to the participants for their presentation of papers and contribution to the discussions. In particular, sincere thanks must be accorded to Messrs. M.K. Papademetriou and F.J. Dent for compiling and editing this valuable document. Also, the unfailing support of Mrs. Valai Visuthi, who provided assistance in formatting the manuscript, is greatly appreciated.
Assistant Director-General and FAO Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific