A new cultivar of avocado will hit the market in Australia this March. The new Hass-like variety, Maluma is “bigger and better” than the original Hass variety. The new precocious variety is being grown by Henk van Niekerk from DBC Farming in the Atherton Tableland region in Queensland.
The Atherton Tableland region produces about one quarter of the 9.5 million cartons of avocados produced each year in Australia, predominantly of the Shepard and Hass varieties.
Van Niekerk says the Maluma is more heat tolerant that the normal Hass, has a bigger fruit and smaller stone. “The taste is better, more creamy than Hass, the skin is rougher and darker than the original Hass and the trees are smaller and can be more densely planted.”
The trees come into fruition at the end of March, in the period between the Shepard and Hass varieties. Henk says the trees are difficult to get started but once they take hold are very hardy and produce a bigger yield than the Shepard variety, around the same as Hass.
“The Maluma avocados did not really suffer much from the recent heatwave, there was a little leaf burn but no damage to the fruits,” explains Henk. “We expect to get around 3000 cartons this year, which will multiply up to 20,000 next year and then 200,000 in the years to come.”
The Maluma will be be marketed on the domestic market this year, but Henk is looking to start exporting in 2-3 years as volumes increase. The variety is also commercially grown for the export and domestic markets in South Africa and the Plant Breeders’ Rights are held by the South African company AH Ernst & Seuns (Pty) Ltd trading as Allesbeste.
Author: Nichola Watson
Courtesy Fresh Plaza