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Banana growers see future of Australian industry in new varieties

There could soon be a few new banana varieties on the market if research underway in New South Wales proves to be a success.

Banana growers in that state feel they can no longer compete with the Cavendish variety from north Queensland where the majority of the fruit is grown.

Researcher David Peasley said disease-resistant new varieties are critical for the future of the NSW industry, and Australia overall.

Queensland scientists are striving to develop new varieties to keep Australia's most popular fruit on the menu for years to come.

"They have to look for something distinctive that can be grown here and have a market niche that we can develop in the future."

The horticulture consultant manages the research trial funded by levies on banana growers, Horticulture Innovation Australia and both the NSW and Queensland governments.

On the trial site at Duranbah in the Tweed Valley, 28 varieties have been narrowed down to just three for the third phase of the trial.

Grower Dan Molenaar from NSW's Mullumbimby said the replacement for the lady finger, the FLF variety, looked promising. These include the FLF, PKZ and the FHIA-17.

Publication date: 6/14/2017


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