Australian avocado farmers could start producing more fruit to keep up with demand as soon as a new propagation technology, trialled in the Bundaberg Region, is commercialised. It’s a world-first for the industry, with the success of the technology never having worked before due to the “traditionally finicky nature” of avocado trees.
The Mitter Team from the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) have been working on avocado tissue culture propagation as part of a joint State Government and industry funded project. Prof Neena Mitter said the technique, currently on trial at a number of sites -including Donovan Family Farms in Childers- increased the number of avocado trees that could be propagated from one single shoot.
“Rather than the normal propagation technique of creating one plant from one cutting or one plant from one seed, this new technology allows 500 clonal plants from a single shoot-tip in culture within 8 to 12 months,” she said. “The end goal is to create a tool that allows farmers to have the rootstock variety they want, in the numbers they want, when they want it.”
As reported on bundabergnow.com¸ the project is good news for farmers and avocado lovers alike, with Aussies having lifted their avocado consumption to 3.8 kilograms per person, per year according to Avocados Australia.