Durian has immense potential to be developed into viable fruit crop in northern Australia. The market potential for durian has not been tapped despite a sizeable Asian Pacific minority and European migrant population. There are many production and market impediments that have to be surmounted before it can developed into a viable horticultural industry in northern Australia. Some of these can be summarised as the lack of high-yielding adaptable cultivars, erroneous identification of cultivars, a long juvenile period of 9-12 years, inadequate knowledge of the crop phenology and poor fruit set and development.
This project attempts to find solutions to surmount some of the above constraints. The primary objective is to boost durian productivity in northern Australia. More specifically, this project aims to: i) increase durian productivity by introducing more adaptable, high-yielding and compatible clones; ii) improve our understanding of the crop phenology and reproductive biology of durian with regards to pollination so as to rationalise cultural practices such as assisted pollination and fertilisation; iii) improve fruit yield, size, quality and uniformity by practical cultural measures and proper fertilisation based on soil and foliar nutrient monitoring; and iv) reduce the juvenile period using various precocious rootstock-scion combinations and propagation techniques with introduced Durio species and clones.