Prospects for Australian emerging industries
Emerging industries play an important role in the Australian agricultural landscape, contributing to the national economy and helping meet changing global demand. This prospectus is...
Published: 22 Jun 2023
Author(s): Chengyuan (Stephen) Xu, Alan Niscioli
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Dragon fruit production started in Australia in the 1970s, first in Queensland and later in the Northern Territory, Western Australia and New South Wales. By 2012, 70% of production came from the Northern Territory and the industry had a production potential of 750 tonnes per year with a GVP of about $2.25 million. Due to the size and geographic spread of the industry, there has been no further national update.
There have been several changes to the industry in the last decade: demand for dragon fruit has increased, with the average price rising from $3/kg in 2010 to about $8/kg in 2020; production has largely moved from the Northern Territory to Queensland; and cheaper imports have affected the confidence of local growers. The expansion of the market and the higher average price indicates the Australian dragon fruit industry has great potential to grow, but challenges associated with the geographic shift in production and the potential impacts of imports need to be understood to guide coordinated action by the industry.
The primary aim of this project was to facilitate the establishment of an industry body. The Australian Dragon Fruit Growers Association (ADFGA), an incorporated association of dragon fruit growers, is now established and has enabled a national governance and communication network across the value chain. With the support of ADFGA, the project team undertook a stocktake to detail the status of the industry and the major concerns/interests of growers and stakeholders. The project facilitated engagement between the association and research organisations, and provided guidelines for dragon fruit production under Australian conditions.