The potential to produce processing pumpkin seed in northeast Victoria

Tobacco & Associated Farmers Co-operative Limited

  • Project code: PRJ-005518

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Tuesday, June 1, 2010

  • Project completion date: Wednesday, June 29, 2011

  • National Priority: NEPI-RD&E to generate benefit across several plant industries


This proposed project relates to the production of pumpkin seed suitable for processing into oil and other food products. The proposal is aimed in part at scoping the potential of a relatively new industry for Australia and in part aimed at dealing with social and land use change in the former tobacco production areas of Northeast Victoria. The commodity pumpkin seed and its associated value added products are relatively unknown in Australia. There is at least one small company, the Australian Pumpkin Seed Company, that has been processing pumpkin seed and investigating the agronomic aspects of its production. Pumpkin seed oil and pumpkin seed products are popular in Austria, Hungary and Slovenia. It is an export commodity for these regions. Given the health attributes of the products and the prospect of the relocation of the Australian Pumpkin Seed Company to Northeast Victoria it is timely to conduct an introductory study of the commodity and its production peculiarities.


New and Emerging Plant Industries

Research Organisation

Tobacco & Associated Farmers Co-operative Limited

Objective Summary

Develop the skills and knowledge required to produce pumpkin seed of a suitable quality for processing into oil and other food products in Northeast Victoria by:
1.Conducting a desktop review on pumpkin seed production including market research and value chains
2.Developing agronomy notes and management guidelines specific to cucurbit production in Northeast Victoria
3.Planting a demonstration block of up to one hectare

As a result of the one year project there will be a prepared publication on pumpkin seed oil production including market research and value chains. It will include a summation of the potential for pumpkin seed oil production utilising Australian grown product. Concurrently there will be an investigation into agronomic and quality assurance issues related to the production of pumpkin seed of a quality suitable for value adding purposes, and in a quantity conducive to sustainable ongoing production. This latter investigation, specific in Northeast Victoria, will relate to land formerly used for (or in the vicinity of) tobacco production. This study will include a demonstration block that will scope likely challenges and viability constraints that could influence the development of an Australian industry.