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Australia's Never Going To Run Out Of Avos, Thanks To Brisbane Researchers

Stem cell method being tested

Australia's Never Going To Run Out Of Avos, Thanks To Brisbane Researchers Pic: Orion Pictures/Pexels

Aussies are consuming more avocados than ever before, a whopping 86,000 tonnes in the past year to be exact - and there's more where that came from. 

Researchers from the University of Queensland are working on ways to boost the country's supply of avocados, up to 500 times what it is now.

Scientists are developing a new stem cell method that will significantly speed up production, by using a "secret recipe" on high-quality roots to make sure they grow quicker and stronger.

Currently, the entire method of planting a tree root, selling it to a grower and waiting for the tree to bear fruit, can take up to 15 years. Researchers hope to slash that production down to three years or less.

"There is a critical shortage of new avocado plants. Growers want to expand their orchards and increase their productivity, new growers want to jump on board and buy an avocado orchard, but there are not enough trees to do that," said Professor Neena Mitter from UQ's Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation.

"The nursery people, they have a backlog of orders for about three years."

The scientists have developed a sustainable new method which will produce 500 plants from a single shoot. 

The method means they can produce 10,000 to 20,000 plants in a 10 square metre room without any soil.

"It's still the same pristine, beautiful avocado, we are just giving it the right nutrition, temperature, light conditions, tender love and care to root faster."

Of course a higher production will hopefully mean a massive drop in prices for us at the supermarket, but it's also fantastic news for Australia's export market.

"Presently we only export 2% of avocados produced and the industry really wants to increase that to 10%. So an increase in supply will open that export market potential to us as well," Mitter said.

 

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