NORTHERN NSW banana growers have been given a helping hand with the release of a new five-year National Banana Development and Extension program.
The aim of the program is to access to the latest research and development results.
Funded by the banana research and development levy, with co-investment from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and contributions from the Australian Government, it aims to build stronger relationships with growers and share learnings from research trials to better understand how industry issues directly affect growers on a local, regional and national level.
NSW DPI development officer, Tom Flanagan, encouraged growers to be a part of the project to identify opportunities and achieve optimum productivity through small, on-farm production changes that can make a big difference.
"This project will improve knowledge and awareness of industry issues and ensure that growers are informed of the latest research and development to make the best business-based decisions," Mr Flanagan said.
"The one-on-one approach will help us to understand the barriers to adaptation and opportunities to assist growers in prioritising best management practices or technologies that are achievable for their individual circumstances."
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Mr Flanagan said growers will have the opportunity to access the latest research and development through region specific workshops and field days, including the National Banana Roadshow and Australian Banana Industry Congress.
"Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, some activities may be delivered through webinars or at a later date," Mr Flanagan said.
"The project team will soon be consulting with growers and other stakeholders to identify and prioritise current and emerging industry issues. This will then provide a focus for the RD&E activities undertaken during the project.
"An example of future farm research trials may be to tackle Banana Weevil Borer, which is a serious pest in subtropical climates.
"The trial could evaluate the effectiveness of both traditional and novel treatment strategies to provide growers with the information needed to successfully control this pest and protect their plantation."
- To be a part of the project, contact Tom Flanagan on 0437 654 633 or e-mail: email@example.com
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