New initiatives to safeguard and grow Victoria’s $2.4 billion horticulture industry were announced in Tatura today by the Andrews Labor Government.
Visiting the Horticulture Centre of Excellence, Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford released a state-wide plan for the management of fruit fly and opened a new grants program to generate innovative ideas to grow more fruit, vegetables and nuts.
The five-year Fruit Fly Action Plan will see industry, community and government working together to coordinate the management of fruit fly across the state, improving productivity and optimising market access opportunities to domestic and international markets for Victorian horticulture.
The Labor Government is providing $1.3 million toward the delivery of the Fruit Fly Action Plan which includes the appointment of a state-wide coordinator. An advisory committee to oversee the delivery of the plan will also be established, while regional governance groups in key horticulture areas will develop and implement regional action plans in alignment with the state-wide plan.
Fruit flies are a serious pest inflicting an estimated $300 million towards control and lost market costs.
As part of the plan, research into improved fruit fly management and surveillance tools will also be conducted such as the departments mobile surveillance recording system, ‘Trap base’, which is a vital tool in proving Victorian freedom from exotic fruit fly species such as Mediterranean fruit fly.
In addition, funding will be made available via a small grants program to assist community groups and local councils deliver on their responsibilities within the plan.
Ms Pulford also launched the $1 million Horticulture Innovation Fund to provide grants of up to $50,000 to help growers adopt new technologies and processes to boost production.
A key election commitment, the grants are also geared to support projects that will boost horticultural exports into new markets and broaden the diversity of products we sell overseas.
Information about the Fruit Fly Action Plan and Horticulture Innovation Fund grants can be found at .
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford
“Our skilled and dedicated horticulture workforce has a bright future – that’s why we’re investing in the protection and development of this $2.4 billion sector so our growers stay ahead of the game.”
“Fruit fly is everyone’s responsibility – and with fruit flies costing Australia around $300 million a year it’s crucial that we work together to manage and reduce the impact of this costly pest.”
“Through our new Horticulture Innovation Fund we’re providing targeted support to this important sector, so we can help boost exports and drive long-term economic growth.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020