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Japan's leading experts at the Macfrut Grape Symposium

Japan, where table grapes are worth their weight in gold

Japan is so far away that even on the fruit and vegetable front it can only pique curiosity, especially when 18 berry grapes are worth 30 euros. This is why the presentation by Toshihiko Saito, Deputy Director of the Fruit Production Division of the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) of Japan, is so eagerly awaited. Saito will be speaking at the Macfrut Grape Symposium on Wednesday, 8 May, on "The State of Table Grape Production and Research in Japan."

The total area of table grape production in Japan was 16,400 hectares (2021 data) and the total production was 162,600 tons. The value of the production was estimated to be more than 190 billion yen (1,172 billion euros), and it is the first among fruit trees.

"Until the beginning of the last century, only Vitis labruscana Baily was widely planted in Japan, after which many European and American vines were introduced, including the American Delaware, which was one of the main varieties selected and planted all over the country," explains Saito, anticipating some of the discussion topics of his keynote speech at Macfrut.

The seedless variety began to appear in Japan after the mid-20th century. "Several promising varieties such as Kyoho or Pione were released by private growers by the middle of the 20th century. At about the same time, the production of seedless table grapes began to gain commercial interest due to the application of giberellic acid treatments. With the use of this technique, the varieties Kyoho and Pione began to spread on a large scale, and the production of Delaware was further accelerated. Furthermore, greenhouse growing was also developed to extend the growing season.

Photo source: here

"The table grape genetic improvement program began in 1968 through the Japanese government-funded program through NARO, with 'Shine Muscat' launched in 2006," he continued. This variety, which is well known for its special production and quality characteristics, has contributed to the further promotion of table grape cultivation in Japan and the expansion of its consumption. By 2021, the area planted to Shine Muscat will be almost comparable to that of the main variety, Kyoho.

Macfrut Table Grape Symposium
The world of table grapes meets at Macfrut, a three-day event (from 8 to 10 May 2024) that brings together the entire supply chain: major key operators, market specialists, universities, agronomists and technicians. The focus will be on table grapes, the symbolic product of the 41st edition of Macfrut, which is partnered by Puglia, Italy's main producer.

The first day will be dedicated to the MacFruit Conference with experts from all over the world (8 May), the second day will be dedicated to the MacFruit World Conference on market and production trends (Thursday, 9 May), and the third day will be dedicated to the MacFruit in the field with technical visits to a demonstration area inside the exhibition (Friday, 10 May). Bruno Mezzetti of The Marches Polytechnic University is coordinating the symposium.

For more information:
Macfrut Table Grape Symposium