Capacity building in bananas (BA12703)
This is a final research report from Hort Innovation’s historical archives. Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.
What was it all about?
Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC) organised two study tours, one in 2013 and one in 2014, to give Australian banana growers an opportunity to see first-hand banana growing and marketing overseas. Mr Marc Jackson was engaged to develop an itinerary to address the specific aim of each tour.
The aim of the 2013 study was to provide innovative and youngish growers with the opportunity to see the various practices used across the supply chains in China and the Philippines, and to help them gain a greater of understanding how these impact on production in Australia.
China and the Philippines were some of the world’s largest banana producing nations and were dealing with Panama disease Tropical Race 4. This disease was currently restricted to the Northern Territory in Australia. The study tour to China and the Philippines enabled Australian growers to experience banana production in those countries and to see the research being conducted into Panama Tropical Race 4 and the methods growers were using to deal with the disease.
The study tour also provided the opportunity to understand of how foreign markets operate and also provided brief exposure to export oriented commodities through attendance at Asia Fruit Logisitica.
The key learnings and recommendations from the 2013 study tour were around the themes of appreciating disease-free status in Australia, making changes to implement quarantine/biosecurity procedures, looking at costs of production and changes to fertiliser application methods and types.
The aim of the 2014 study was to provide innovative and youngish growers with the opportunity to see first-hand the various practices used across the supply chain in Ecuador, Costa Rica and Martinique, and to give them an opportunity to see production systems with a focus on quality which they may want to modify and implement on their own farms.
Banana production in Central America was known for high quality fruit for export as well as innovations which lead to minimal waste.
The key learnings and recommendations from the 2014 study tour focused on bunch protection, consideration of chemicals, sap management, varieties, the complexity of Australian cartons and potential collaborations.
To share their learnings from the tour with other growers, study tour participants have provided written notes and photos for use in ‘Australian Bananas’ magazine and this report and have spoken at local banana growers association meetings.
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This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with the financial support of Australian Banana Growers Council Inc and the banana industry.
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