Avocado industry biosecurity strategy 2022-2026 (AV21002)
What's it all about?
This investment delivers improved biosecurity outcomes for the Australian avocado industry through implementing a range of industry preparedness and prevention strategies.
The project will:
- Develop and deliver foundational exotic pest preparedness documents, supported by exotic pest incursion and response exercises.
- Identify current gaps in pest risk assessment, pathway analyses and diagnostic capability in order to better understand the risks posed to the avocado industry.
- Increase the uptake of appropriate on-farm biosecurity practices by identifying and addressing barriers to adoption.
During the first year of the project, foundational activities have been completed including the development of:
- A draft five-year project strategic plan and an operation plan
- A Risk Management Plan to identify and manage risks that could eventuate
- A Stakeholder Engagement Plan to ensure stakeholders are engaged appropriately
- A Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) plan to ensure that the project's progress is monitored appropriately and that data is captured to allow for efficiency and continual improvement.
The project has determined, through consultation with stakeholders, a list of avocado high priority pests, both exotic and endemic, that it sees as having the greatest impact on the avocado industry should they be introduced or spread. 11 pest pathway analysis and risk assessments have been developed for these pests to inform further preparedness activities.
The avocado industry has been informed and trained by Plant Health Australia (PHA) in critical response actions to consider in preparing for incursion by high priority pests. This included training workshops provided to Avocados Australia staff and Board members on the workings of the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed (EPPRD) and critical Industry Liaison Officer (ILO) training should a pest be detected.
Importantly, these awareness activities have provided a foundation for the development of an Owner Reimbursement Cost (ORC) framework for the avocado industry and a Biosecurity Incident Standard Operational Procedure (BISOP) to be completed. Gap analysis work being completed by PHA on updating current surveillance and diagnostic capability for key avocado pests will also support project initiatives.
This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Avocado Fund