- Fruits: general tree fruits
- Animal Production: preventive practices
- Education and Training: technical assistance, demonstration, display, farmer to farmer, networking, on-farm/ranch research
- Farm Business Management: cooperatives, budgets/cost and returns, feasibility study, agricultural finance, risk management
- Pest Management: chemical control, field monitoring/scouting, physical control, prevention
- Production Systems: agroecosystems, holistic management
- Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, partnerships, public participation, social networks, sustainability measures
For hundreds of years throughout most of Asia, farmers have been covering fruit with paper either to
protect their appearance or to increase the time the fruit would be on the tree thus making it sweeter. In
some locations the bags are used for protection from various pests.
Currently there are over 3000 types of bags manufactured in Japan alone. In addition to differences in
size, the bags vary in the amount of light being transmitted to the fruit, color of paper, wax coatings and
chemicals impregnated in the paper. (.05% daiazinon is the most common). The bags all have a small
wire imbedded at the top in order to facilitate the wrapping process. There are slits in the bottom so that
any rainwater can drain out.
The bags we used for this test were made in Niigata Japan where they are used primarily on apples,
asian pears, loquat, peaches, grapes and mango. Bags are used to control ripening time, for desired
coloration and for pest control. The company works directly with growers as well as wholesalers to find
the best bag for a particular crop. The company recommended the types of bags tested after input from
Hawaii growers and a tour of Big Island farms.
Members of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, West Hawaii chapter,
Kona Pacific Farmers Cooperative and Kona Young Farmers, participated in a number of bagging tests
to determine the time to bag various fruit.
Fruit chosen to test were loquat, White sapote, Mango, Lychee, Figs
and Rambutan. Some collaborators preformed additional tests on abiu, pineapple, strawberry guava,
tomato, zucchini, and eggplant.
Weather patterns had an effect on which fruit were chosen for more
extensive testing. As it was an extremely poor season for mango,
we choose to concentrate more on abiu.
In all cases, we found the bags very effective in pest control.
Other advantages in using the bags were for coloration and
length of time the fruit could stay on the tree which in turn
increased its value because of better coloration and having
the fruit available "off season". Unexpected benefits were drastically reduced -time it takes to inspect and cull.
Using the protective bags also helped to create markets
for fruit which is not usually found in stores as it
is almost always unmarketable due of insect infestation
or bird damage. Loquat, white sapote and abiu are examples
of fruit what show great market potential with the use of the
bags. Marketable Lychee increased dramatically with bag use
as did the value per pound. Benefits with other tropical fruit
are tremendous but more extensive testing is needed to
determine the best types of bags to be used on mango,
figs and guava.
Results of the testing was presented to an International Fruit
Growers' conference held in October of 2002. A display of
bags and results are also put on display each Thursday
at a farmers market held by the Kona Pacific Farmers Cooperative.
Results are also posted on the web site,
We believe that as farmers adopt the use of the protective bags,
the value of their crop will increase both from quality and quantity.
Sales of the bags should help the Kona Pacific Farmers Cooperative
increase equity for their members. Increased availability of the unusual fruit will help with consumer
awareness in developing extended markets
for farmers choosing to greater diversify what they grow.
Use of the bags enables farmers to increase production while
staying chemical and pesticide free in what they grow and bring to market thus promoting good stewardship of the land.
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of using protective bags on tropical fruit in order
to increase production and quality as well as to develop new markets for Hawaii. Results were
measured as to both economic impact via market development and the horticultural value of using
protective fruit wrapping as an alternative to chemical treatment.