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Avocado has been known for many centuries, dating back to at least 1519. It is highly regarded today as an important fruit for food and nutrition. However, this fruit has not yet been popularized in Asia, most likely due to unawareness of its merits and qualities, despite remarkable development in every other continent.

Given the relatively high food and nutrition value of avocados, large scale production and consumption of this fruit could considerably alleviate the malnutrition problem in the developing Asia. There is, therefore, a very good opportunity and potential for the development of a viable avocado industry in Asia. The countries of the region are, therefore, encouraged to give consideration to commercial avocado culture. This called for critical diagnosis of the constraints to avocado production and effective solution of the problems.

Against the above backdrop, FAO organized a Regional Expert Consultation on Avocado Production Development, at the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand, from 27 to 29 April 1999. Experts from concerned countries participated in the workshop. They were able to identify critical issues needing immediate attention. The report of the Consultation was published as FAO/RAP Publication No. 1999/19, in June 1999, highlighting the major recommendations. This publication collates further useful information in the form of Proceedings.

Appreciation is expressed to the participants for the presentation of papers and contribution to the discussions. In particular, sincere thanks must be accorded to Mr. M.K. Papademetriou for compiling and editing this valuable document. Also, the unfailing support of Mrs. Valai Visuthi, who provided assistance in formating the manuscript, is greatly appreciated.

R.B. Singh
Assistant Director-General
and FAO Regional Representative
for Asia and the Pacific

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