Rural research and development has delivered Australia’s tree crop industry a new online tool which will enable quicker and more targeted biosecurity and disaster planning and responses.
The Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, today welcomed the release of the Australian Tree Crop Rapid Response Map, part of a $3.4 million project from the Australian Government’s Rural R&D for Profit program.
“This new map is an important development for our avocado, macadamia and mango industries,” Minister Ruston said.
“It helps to safeguard the future of tree crop industries by pin-pointing the precise location and coverage of farms—important new data to support biosecurity planning and responses for an exotic disease incursion.
“By combining this map with weather information it can also provide a clear picture of the impact of natural disasters for authorities, industry bodies, and insurance companies, and was used following Cyclone Debbie in Queensland.
“The map shows what can be achieved when industry, research and development corporations, researchers and state government agencies work together.
“It is part of a wider project managed by Hort Innovation, Multi-scale monitoring tools for managing Australian tree crops – Industry meets innovation, which received more than $3.4 million under round one of the government’s Rural R&D for Profit program.
“This project will help macadamia, avocado and mango growers make important decisions around fruit and nut quality and yield, and monitor tree health including early detection of pests and disease outbreaks.”
Minister Ruston also announced a grant of more than $75,000 for the Australian Mango Industry Association for a new online export registration mapping and phyto-data recording system for Australian mango growers.
“This registration system will make the application process for export quicker and easier for growers to use, and apply consistency in data collection,” Minister Ruston said.
“These faster and simpler arrangements provide savings directly to producers and exporters, helping to give them easier access to a slice of the international market trade."
The grant is part of the government’s $15 million PASE program which aims to improve market access for small exporters of meat, eggs, dairy, fish, horticultural, grain and plant products.
- The government’s $180.5 million Rural R&D for Profit program aims to improve farmgate productivity and profitability and deliver real outcomes for Australian farmers.
- The Rural R&D for Profit program promotes collaboration, requiring applicants and their partners to co-invest in the project.
- Grant funding of $114.7 million has been awarded to 36 projects over the first three rounds of the program, matched by almost $170 million in cash and in-kind contributions from successful applicants and their partners.
- ABARES has previously found that for every dollar the government invests in agricultural R&D, farmers generate a $12 return within 10 years.
- The Australian Tree Crops Rapid Response Map is supplied by the Queensland Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation, working with the University of Queensland.
- The Map is part of a $6.8 million project managed by Hort Innovation, collaborating with the University of Central Queensland, the University of New England, the University of Sydney, Simpson Farms, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and Agtrix Ltd.