Queensland’s Darling Downs growers have made a significant breakthrough producing a crop of export-standard squash (kabocha) that has been sent to Japan where it is a dietary staple.
According to Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, Mark Furner, the export win was welcome news for jobs as the state unites and recovers from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Like the rest of the world, Queensland has been hit hard by the global pandemic, but our agricultural sector has been one of the shining lights. The health response is ongoing and we are starting to deliver Queensland’s plan to Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs. New export opportunities like this one can only be good for jobs and the long-term growth of our agricultural sector.”
Furner said previously squash had not been grown commercially in Australia, however two growers have now opened the door to the $108 million dollar export market into Japan. “The first shipment of our product has arrived successfully in Japan – a deal that has been years in the making.“
“Currently Mexico and New Zealand completely dominate the Japanese kabocha market, but the Queensland Government has been working in partnership with our industry and a Japanese importer to carve out a slice of this lucrative trade.