Agriculture experts from around the world will soon be landing in Victoria to assist with three major research projects set to tackle issues affecting agricultural industries.
Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford opened the Goulburn Valley Food Research and Development Roundtable in Shepparton today by announcing the inaugural grant recipients from the VESKI Sustainable Agricultural Fellowship Program.
The fellowship programme provides grants of up to $220,000 to bring world leading specialists to Victoria to collaborate with farmers, industry and the government on projects that will stimulate and develop our food industries.
Victoria will benefit through three fellowship recipients:
- Professor Luca Corelli Grapadelli, University of Bologna, Italy will work with DEDJTR’s Horticulture Centre of Excellence to develop new and emerging sensor technologies to optimise yield, size, harvest time and ripening rates through to better handling, storage and transport of new blush pear varieties. This research will help industry produce optimum fruit quality that meets consumer expectations for local and export markets.
- An American maize farmer with a world record grain yield will work with industry through a series of on-farm trials and grower meetings across Northern Victoria. Results from the trials, aimed at increasing Australian maize yields will be shared across the Victorian maize industry.
- Dr Pangzhen Zhang, University of Melbourne will investigate methodologies to define, quantify and differentiate regional Victorian shiraz through predicting levels of rotundone production in grapes. Rotundone is a compound that gives shiraz grapes a ‘peppery’ flavour, a quality preferred by wine consumers. This research will include an app to help grape growers estimate their rotundone concentration at each vintage based on climate data in their region.
VESKI is a charitable institution established by the Victorian Government in 2004, bringing world leading scientists and researchers to Victoria through innovative fellowship programs.
Quotes attributable to Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford:
“Victoria is Australia’s leading food export state. Victorian food and fibre exports were valued at $11.6 billion in 2014-15, an increase of $282 million.”
“The long-term sustainability of Victoria’s agricultural sector and regional communities rely on innovation and strong collaboration between industry, government and the community.”
“Our strength lies in knowledge, and this is a unique opportunity to work together with researchers, government and industry groups to develop solutions and drive prosperity across the agriculture sector.”
Reviewed 10 February 2021