FINGER lime farmers in Scenic Rim are buzzing over a new study which they hope might unlock the opportunity for them to export fresh fruit across the globe.
Australian growers cannot export fresh finger limes to China, India, Japan, the USA, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam or New Zealand because of concerns over fruit fly.
But a new federally funded study could bring them one step closer, and it is bringing hope for the likes of Ian and Margie Douglas from the Lime Caviar Company near Rathdowney.
The Douglases are among growers who have welcomed the study, which will determine whether or not finger limes actually do host fruit flies.
They hope the study will prove what they already believe to be true – that finger limes do not host fruit fly.
Federal Member for Wright Scott Buchholz welcomed the study, which the Queensland Agriculture Department will carry out through a $313,409 grant from the Commonwealth’s Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation program.
Mr Buchholz, who took the Douglas couple’s case to Canberra after they raised their frustrations with him last year, congratulated them on their tenacity.
“Ian and Margie Douglas are passionate about growing finger limes and they are passionate about catering to a growing international market,” he said.
“They have been determined and proactive in championing this issue at a national level, seeking advocacy from me as their federal member and also broadcasting it into the lounge rooms of their fellow Australians through the highly-watched ABC Landline program.
“This is a positive step in the right direction, and I am proud to be part of a government which is supporting our farmers to work through the hurdles facing the industry.”