Australia’s Sunraysia region could replace New Zealand as an avocado supplier over the upcoming summer months, according to the chief executive of Avocados Australia, John Tyas.
Tyas travelled to Mildura last week for an industry forum to meet with existing avocado growers and those considering planting the crop.
Speaking with the Sunraysia Daily, Tyas was extremely positive about the potential for increased avocado production in the region.
“It’s an area that’s going through a fairly strong growth phase,” he said. “This region supplies about five per cent of Australia’s production and is increasing quite rapidly. There’s a lot of new planting, with growers moving from other crops to avocados.”
The Hass avocado variety comprises around 80 per cent of Australia’s annual consumption, which is approximately 3kg per person.
Consequently, it is this variety that Tyas and other industry insiders are recommending for the Sunraysia region’s growers to plant.
“Demand is very strong at this time of the year so there’s good market opportunity,” enthused Tyas.
However, he did note that growers would have to invest in technology necessary to combat the extreme climates that can occur in the region.
“For avocados, this region is considered a marginal climate, probably at the southern extremes,” he told the Sunraysia Daily. “Growers need to be prepared to invest the time and effort in terms of technology such as frost fans, and cooling systems for those days of hot northerly winds.”