NT passionfruit hybrids are going commercial

NT passionfruit hybrids could be coming to a grocery store near you as the hybrids enter the commercialisation stage.

The passionfruit industry in the NT is small and primarily focuses on supplying local markets. In response to the price premium and market demand for the edulis type of passionfruit, a breeding program was developed by the Northern Territory Government. Beginning in 2007, its objective was to produce a hybrid edulis x flavicarpa that incorporates tropical vigour and heat tolerance of the Panama variety with the market preferences for a sweet, black fruit. The new varieties have been the culmination of trials aiming to stimulate further growth of the Territory’s passionfruit industry and meet consumers’ desire for availability throughout the year.

After conducting research on passionfruit for several years, the Department of Primary Industry and Resources will be taking eight of the top performing hybrids to the commercialisation stage. These new lines are currently being trialled on-farm through commercial partners in the Darwin and Katherine regions.

The department expects that commercialisation of these new lines will underpin significant growth for the NT passionfruit industry in coming years. The NT has advantage over eastern production areas by being free of many passionfruit viruses that cause loss of productivity, poor fruit development and premature vine death. The market price of fresh passionfruit peaks in October and November due to limited supply from traditional Australian production areas. By targeting this high price window and developing better quality fruit with longer vine life, NT passionfruit production has scope for expansion.

The process for selecting a proponent for commercialisation is likely to commence before August 2017. Full details will be available on our website. For more information on the commercialisation process please contact Linda Lee on 08 8999 6058 or email at linda.lee@nt.gov.au.

Figure 5: DPIR passionfruit hybrid

Figure 5: DPIR passionfruit hybrid

Last updated: 11 July 2017