Guayule (Parthenium argentatum) is a woody, perennial, rubber-producing shrub. It is an alternate natural rubber to the tropical rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis), which is the only current commercial source.
The supply of natural Hevea rubber is under pressure, with production hampered by a drop in the availability of south-east Asian labour, an increase in competition for resources from palm oil industries, and endemic diseases. However, the demand for natural rubber is rapidly growing from China and India. Globally, it is estimated that a further 4.3 million to 8.5 million hectares of new Hevea plantation will be required to meet anticipated demand for natural rubber. The increased demand for natural rubber provides the Australian guayule industry with a great opportunity to grow and take a larger share of the market.
This Australian Guayule Industry Strategic Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) Plan is a crucial first step in the growth of this emerging industry. The Plan clearly outlines opportunities and barriers to industry growth and resulting RD&E priorities for the industry. Strategic RD&E Plans for emerging industries are resources that can be used by industry to help drive investment and growth within the industry.
The Plan is the result of extensive desktop research and stakeholder consultation across the Australian guayule industry and pulls together specific recommendations for future investment to support the long-term growth and competitive advantage of the industry.