Progressing their next-gen 300-hectare avocado project in Western Australia, sustainable agriculture specialist Alterra (ASX:1AG) could soon be extending the live-at-home lives of millenials that continue to prioritise smashed avo cafe breakfasts ahead of financial independence.
The Company has released an update today on the progress of their flagship 300-hectare avocado project. The Carpenters Project, located in Pemberton, Western Australia is set to become one of the largest avocado developments in Australia.
Alterra has reported that field preparations are well underway with ripping completed and drainage and irrigation works progressing. Construction of a 4,100 megalitre dam has also advanced with all pipe work for the dam wall being completed.
Field data from the first 5-hectares of avocados planted in October 2020 is being used to inform irrigation and fertilisation decisions for the next 52-hectares of development. Alterra is working in conjunction with the French’s Group, a leading, locally based family run avocado production business. Alterra has emphasised the role of their execution partners, both The French’s Group’ and Richard Eckersley (a Harvey-based avocado grower). Both partners bring “significant local generational knowledge” and are important for the success of the project.
Alterra is hopeful that the Carpenters Project will deliver significant crop yields and fruit size, aiming to achieve over 90% premium grade fruit at 28 tonnes per hectare. This goal will be realised via the implementation of intelligent fertilisation and irrigation systems and continuous monitoring of soil and root health.
Pemberton, WA is an ideal location for avocado production thanks to its cool climate, mineral rich soils and water supply. Average yields are high, between 20 and 30 tonnes per hectare. Data for the September 2019 to January 2020 harvest period saw avocados priced between $5.44- $9.38 per kilogram. According to Alterra’s feasibility study, the Carpenters Project has an estimated $1.1 billion project life revenue.
Australia currently exports 3% of its total avocado production. Alterra believes that there is serious potential for expansion of this export figure from the Carpenters Project.
WA has approximately 2500 hectares of avocado production. The Carpenters Project has the potential to represent 10% of the state’s planted hectares and become the single largest avocado orchard in Australia.
Smashed avo anyone?