Introduction

Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis), pronounced ho-ho-baa, produces a unique oil (or liquid wax) that has great potential for use in cosmetics and industrial applications. The oil is crushed from peanut-sized seeds that are produced from plantations of hedgerow-grown shrubs. This desert plant is extremely drought tolerant and is well suited to a broad area of inland Australia, where it offers not only stable production but also environmental benefits not offered by existing land use practices. It would ameliorate some of our land degradation problems.

Jojoba seed pods

Jojoba oil has many attributes that make it highly attractive to the cosmetic and skincare industry. The oil has very acceptable skin-feel properties and excellent moisturising ability; it is also very stable and gives products a long shelf life.

The industry in Australia is now based on the use of high-yielding cloned varieties especially selected for our climate. Since 1993 the area planted has increased to over 400 ha and most plantations have reached production age and are now producing seed. There are at least 25 commercial growers, most of whom are active members of the Australian Jojoba Industry Association, the peak body for the industry. There are seven other countries that also produce jojoba. Their production is based on the use of 'seeded' material. Australia is well placed to become a major producer of jojoba oil because of our varieties, amenable climate and the good technical skills of our farmers.

While good husbandry is a prerequisite in any agricultural enterprise, the timing of many of the operations in jojoba growing is not as critical as for some other crops, such as fresh fruit. This

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