Demand in Asia for Australian-grown persimmons is on the rise, the ABC reports, with predictions that the niche fruit could present an ideal cash crop for Mallee fruit growers.
Queensland-based researcher from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), Grant Bignell, supports talk of the growing demand.
"There's an increasing Asian population in Australia and it's a very popular fruit amongst Asian people," he told the ABC. "With our population increasing, there's definitely scope for the industry to increase.”
This presents opportunity both for expansion within the domestic market and the potential amongst export markets.
Bignell pointed to the persimmon as one of the fastest emerging crops worldwide. However, he added that the greatest challenge facing the industry was educating consumers to correctly identify the fruit, which the majority are not familiar with.
"Maybe one in three people will know what a persimmon is," he said. "A lot of older people know what a persimmon is but with the younger generations there's a big scope to have some awareness of the fruit and educate them about the fruit. A lot of people haven't tried it and I find the people that try it will eat it - it's a beautiful fruit."