Tropical Fruit Production

TPSS 403


Alyssa Cho


The emphasis will be placed, as much as possible, on crops and methods appropriate for small-scale production in Hawaii, with the intent of exposing you to the potential for a financially and personally rewarding career in tropical fruit crop production in our state.


This course is offered in odd numbered years in the Spring Semester.


TPSS 300 or consent


Tropical Fruits. H. Nakasone and R. E. Paull. CABI Press, 1998

Statistics of Hawaii Agriculture, Hawaii Agricultural Statistics Service

Other useful references:

  • J.W. Purseglove, Tropical Crops - Dicotyledons
  • J.W. Purseglove, Tropical Crops - Monocotyledons
  • N.W. Simmonds, Evolution of Crop Plants
  • J.J. Ochse, et al., Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture

Field Trips:

Visit to the Big Island for 3 days during Spring Break to look at successful horticultural enterprises and meet the entrepreneurs, as well as USDA and CTAHR researchers and their projects.

Course organization:

This course is offered as an online course with a combination of synchronous and asynchronous components. Video lectures on specific crops (macadamia nut, coffee, guava, passionfruit, papaya, pineapple, mango, etc.) follow the following format:

  • Introduction - Common names, uses of fruit, nutritional value, importance in World and Hawaiian markets.
  • Taxonomy - Botanical family and characteristics, scientific names of species, origin and evolution of crop.
  • Botany - Descriptions of growth habit, leaf shape and arrangement, flower type and reproductive biology, fruit type, and biochemical aspects.
  • Culture and Management - Environmental requirements, propagation, spacing, training and pruning, irrigation, fertilization, weed, disease and pest control, harvesting and handling.
  • Varieties and Breeding - Important local Hawaiian cultivars and current efforts to improve existing varieties.
  • Uses - Processing and value added for these crops will be discussed. 

Students can watch videos and complete assignments and evaluations asynchronously. Students will meet weekly for one hour for a journal club discussion with their instructor and peers using video conferencing (Zoom). 


Three (3) tests will be given during the semester, including the final exam. The tests will consist of questions requiring a short written paragraph or diagram. The tests will be mostly non-cumulative, so that for the most part you will be tested only on information presented since the previous exam.

Each week one crop module will be covered and students must complete a quiz covering that module. 

Each student is responsbile for presenting and facilitating a journal club session. 


Course Website