A REPORT from the Department of Agriculture has recommended imports of fresh jujube fruit from China be permitted provided biosecurity import conditions are met.

Jujube has been employed for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine, including as a sedative, an anxiety reliever, and a digestive aid.

All imports must come from commercial production areas of China and risk management measures are required to reduce the risk of pests.

These pests are:

  • Fruit flies: Oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis), guava fruit fly (Bactrocera correcta), melon fly (Zeugodacus cucurbitae), jujube fruit fly (Carpomyia vesuviana)
  • Fruit borer: peach fruit borer (Carposina sasakii)
  • Mite: hawthorn spider mite (Amphitetranychus viennensis)
  • Mealybug: Heliococcus mealybug (Heliococcus destructor)
  • Thrips: chilli thrips (Scirtothrips dorsalis).

“We recommend risk management measures to reduce the risk of these pests arriving in Australia via fresh Chinese jujube fruit imported from China,” the department reported.

Jujube is a large crop in China, with an estimated planting area above one million hectares, according to agricultural experts spoken to by DCN.

They are typically eaten fresh and are described as being like “crunchy little apples”, albeit they are said to be a tough plant that can grow in tougher conditions than apples.