Secondary navigation

Australia-first trials at Alton Downs bring Black Sesame condiment to local farmers

Australia-first trials at Alton Downs bring Black Sesame condiment to local farmers

Published:12 March 2018

Peter Foxwell with the first black sesame crop in the ground at Alton Downs

CQUniversity researchers, together with seed technology company AgriVentis Technologies, is trialling black sesame crops near Rockhampton to test the viability of the condiment as a commercial crop.

Results are expected by mid-year when the crops are harvested, and if successful it will pave the way for the first commercial planting in Australian in more than 10 years.

Working in partnership with Foxwell Farming in Alton Downs, AgriVentis is the first Australian company to conduct large-scale commercial trials of the valuable condiment.

CQUniversity will evaluate the crops under field conditions, as well as in controlled glasshouse environments on campus, with agronomic performance being assessed by CQUniversity researcher Dr Surya Bhattarai.

Australia currently imports 94 per cent of spices and condiments for the domestic market, including 100 per cent of black sesame.  AgriVentis Technologies is working with local and state governments to identify suitable regions to support a range of crops which can tap into this import-replacement opportunity.

Paul Stewart of AgriVentis said the black sesame trials formed part of a wider research project between CQUniversity and AgriVentis Technologies exploring rain-fed cropping opportunities for the greater region.

This included the production of grain legumes, spices, and other condiments, with both organisations hoping to further explore the opportunity of commercial production for both the domestic and international markets.