Calling All Tropical Fruit Growers

Help Develop Your Industry


TROPICAL fruit growers in North Queensland and the Northern Territory are being urged to contribute to a strategic plan that will accelerate the growth of the exotic fruit industry.

Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Queensland Tim Mulherin said the project especially targets producers of rambutan, mangosteen, durian, jackfruit, sapote and abiu.

“The Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries (QPIF) and Tropical Exotic Fruit Australia (TEFA) are spearheading this 18-month project,” he said.

“These fruits, so far worth more than $10m annually to the Queensland and Northern Territory economies, are considered to have the highest commercial prospects as their popularity grows.

“The exotic fruit industry is relatively young but with support could potentially become a significant contributor to Queensland’s economy.

“We had just begun developing this plan three years ago when Cyclone Larry came along and had a dreadful impact on the orchards.

“Producers are now back on their feet and TEFA is keen to set the direction for future research, development and marketing.

Mr Mulherin said there was potential to strengthen the industry, develop profitable supply chains and improve production and marketing.

“To do this we need to update existing strategies and to develop a cyclone risk strategy,” he said.

“Input for the strategic planning project will come from growers across the North of Australia, including Queensland and the Northern Territory.”

QPIF regional industries development officer Yan Diczbalis said QPIF and TEFA needed to develop a database of tree numbers.

“We need a more accurate estimate of industry value, and really focus on the fruit at the forefront of commercialisation,” he said.

“This will help the industry to identify thei r major crops and predict production levels for the coming years.

“The project will allow supply chain participants – wholesalers, providers, specialist tropical exotic fruit retailers and restaurants – to meet with growers and improve the use and promotion of tropical exotic fruit.

“Currently, most product is supplied to domestic markets but we will also be looking at export market opportunities.”

Mr Diczbalis said an important part of the plan would be to develop a cyclone risk and protection strategy to minimise the kind of devastation seen in 2006.

“Cyclone Larry derailed our first attempt to launch this project,” he said.

“But we are confident producers are now in a stronger position to firmly establish their industry and increase its profitability.”

TEFA president and far north Queensland producer Mark Gray is calling on all exotic tropical fruit producers to participate in the development of the strategic plan.

” You don’t have to be a member of TEFA to participate-the project aims to benefit the whole industry,” he said.

“We will be surveying producers for production capability and their vision for the future of tropical exotic fruit production.”

Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation is co-funding the project.

Producers wishing to participate should contact:
• Mr Diczbalis, QPIF, South Johnstone (07) 4064 1128
• Mark Gray, TEFA president, Queensland, 0448 167 813
• Kerry Eupene, TEFA, Northern Territory, (08) 8981 9703.



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