The New South Wales banana industry development officer (BA13025)
What was it all about?
Although the NSW banana industry comprises only four per cent of the Australian industry, it is important nationally as well as regionally since it provides supply in situations that reduce north Queensland production, such as extreme weather events.
This project, which ran between 2014 and 2017, supported the appointment of an Industry Development Officer to reinvigorate the NSW industry.
A survey was developed to gain an understanding of the NSW banana industry, and was run in late 2015. Response rates were low, due to significant weather events at that time, but the survey nevertheless provided an understanding of the information needs of growers in this region, which informed subsequent project activities. An understanding of the supply chain for bananas in NSW was also obtained.
Key outputs included…
- A series of grower trials to generate an understanding of subtropical banana production
- Two active social media channels for NSW growers, providing reliable communication channels and linkages among growers, and between service providers and wholesalers
- Field days and workshops which, after the discovery of tropical race 4 (TR4) Fusarium wilt in Tully in 2015, had an increased emphasis on farm biosecurity
- Development of a pheromone lure for banana weevil borer, a significant pest of bananas on the east coast
- Development of an information package on nutrition for subtropical production
- Increased grower knowledge through linkages to the banana R&D program in conjunction with the National Banana Extension Team from the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries
- Improved understanding of the NSW industry and grower contact details for future use.
Mid-term and final project evaluations showed that 90 per cent of participants found the project to be very or extremely valuable.
Recommendations for future work include new plantings of current or improved varieties to fit established supply chains and the development of information packages to improve fruit quality.
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation
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