Growers ramping up production of jujubes

Jujubes growing at Peter Dawson’s farm in Gidgegannup.        d450368
Jujubes growing at Peter Dawson’s farm in Gidgegannup.        d450368

But according to the Department of Agriculture, WA is emerging as the nation’s leading producer of the small apple-like fruit.

Gidgegannup grower Peter Dawson said local demand had increased dramatically over the past few years.

“We only had six trees to start with – now we’ve got over 100,” he said.

Jujubes were thought to be discovered in China more than 3000 years ago.

They were then introduced to the US more than a century ago, and brought into WA by the Dawson family 25 years ago.

“My father brought jujubes here in the early ‘90s,” he said.

“They weren’t so popular back then.

“Now there’s a huge demand for them.”

Jujubes are currently being grown in Bindoon, Gidgegannup and York, as well as in the South-West.

Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston said the industry was small but expanding, as the bulk of WA’s commercial orchards were less than five years old.

“We have about 40 growers producing fruit from about 12,500 trees on 20ha,” he said.

“Almost 3000 new trees are being planted each year, which should significantly boost supplies of the fruit in years to come.”

Jujubes are in season now and available until the end of April.