Tropical fruit growers in North Queensland and the Northern Territory are being urged to contribute to a strategic plan that will accelerate the growth of the exotic fruit industry.
Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Queensland Tim Mulherin said the project especially targets producers of rambutan, mangosteen, durian, jackfruit, sapote and abiu.
`The Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries (QPIF) and Tropical Exotic Fruit Australia (TEFA) are spearheading this 18-month project,` he said.
`These fruits, so far worth more than $10m annually to the Queensland and Northern Territory economies, are considered to have the highest commercial prospects as their popularity grows.
`The exotic fruit industry is relatively young but with support could potentially become a significant contributor to Queensland`s economy.
`We had just begun developing this plan three years ago when Cyclone Larry came along and had a dreadful impact on the orchards.
`Producers are now back on their feet and TEFA is keen to set the direction for future research, development and marketing.
Mr Mulherin said there was potential to strengthen the industry, develop profitable supply chains and improve production and marketing.