This year, the export volumes of mango, pineapple, avocado and papaya may be worth over 10 billion dollars, according to forecasts. This could be a hopeful sign, since they are crops grown in developing countries which, in many cases, form the basis for the livelihood of small agricultural producers, according to the FAO.
The total production of these four fruits, according to the biannual "Perspectivas Alimentarias" report, could reach 92 million tonnes this year, compared to 69 just a few years ago.
95 percent of that production is consumed locally, but the increase in income levels and the changes in consumer preferences will probably give a boost to the export volumes.
Among the main producers of tropical fruits, the report highlights the role of India, which accounts for 40 percent of the global mango production; of Costa Rica, which supplies a good part of the pineapples, and of China of Brazil, as well as Mexico, the largest exporter.
In addition to its analysis of the production, trade and the demands of the main cereal and oil crops, "Perspectivas Alimentarias" provides details on trends affecting cassava, the fastest growing crop in the world and the third most important source of calories in tropical countries.
This year, the production of this tuber in sub-Saharan Africa could reach a record 156 million tonnes as a result of the implementation of commercial expansion programs to reduce the region's dependence on imports.
Nevertheless, the FAO says that, after two decades of growth, the world production of this root in 2017 could reach 278 million tonnes, mostly due to drought conditions and lower prices, among other factors.