Bushfire destroys pioneering Qld banana plantation

Updated December 03, 2018 17:16:19

Photo: A bushfire tore through the banana plantation at Walkamin, destroying several hectares of fruit. (Supplied: Natural Evolution Foods)

A bushfire has ripped through one of the country’s largest ladyfinger banana farms, Rob and Krista Watkins’ award-winning farm at Walkamin, west of Cairns, destroying its crop and more than 40 hectares of surrounding bushland.

More than a dozen firefighting crews from the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service and Rural Fire Service battled the blaze for seven hours.

Mr Watkins said their factory was not damaged in the blaze.

The couple were the first in the country to turn rejected green bananas into a gluten-free flour as well as into skin products, establishing a factory on their property.

They now export their products around the world under their Natural Evolution Foods label.

Photo: Rob Watkins says the fire that tore through his banana plantation was “super-charged”. (ABC Rural: Charlie McKillop)

Mr Watkins said he was in Brisbane at the time of the blaze and his father, Bruce, helped to fight off the flames.

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