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John Unger rips the jujube fruit out at Arakuna Road

ASK most people what a Jujube is and they will tell you a Jujube is a character from a Nintendo game. On a more serious note, Jujube could be a big business enterprise for Currajong Disability Services as demand continues to grow for the exotic fruit especially in the Far East and the Australian-Asian grocery industry.

Currajong Disability Services Chairman Neil Unger with the help of his son John, Geoff Rawson, CDS board members Greg Duffy, Ray Nielsen, Peter Barber, the Currajong Autism Support Group, MSM Milling and numerous local volunteers have ripped, planted, irrigated and treated soil at Akuna Road, Parkes within the last 12 months on land generously donated by Parkes Shire Council. Despite challenges from pests such as hares, everything is on course for a good haul that will help, in part, meet the demands of the burgeoning Asian market but also, potentially, create employment for CDS clients and an additional income stream.

“The Jujube business is popular with Jujube fruit fetching up to $15/kg fresh,” said CDS Chair Neil Unger.

“Some like it fresh but it is also popular dry, taking on a similar consistency and taste as sticky dates.

“It is another potential arm to the CDS business model that now includes paper shredding, Carob Trees and much more,” said Neil

“We are continuing to go from strength to strength.”

The Jujube need grafting and cannot just be grown. They are tolerant of salt, cold and heat being able to withstand temps as low as -50 degrees Celsius through to +50 degrees Celsius. They are extremely resilient and can be profitable.

“We are hoping to expand but as you know these things take time,” said Neil

“Once this is up and running we hope and anticipate it may provide more opportunities and employment.

“Again, thank everyone for their time, effort and support,” said Neil.