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Ongoing project

Biosecurity and sustainability in the banana industry (BA19005)

Key research provider: ABGC

What’s it all about?

This investment follows the completed Banana strategic industry development manager (BA16008). Like its predecessor it supports the role and activities of Industry Strategic Manager (ISM) Michelle McKinlay within the Australian Banana Grower’s Council. The ISM works with growers to develop, implement and respond to industry-related strategies and policies, and provides support for the adoption of new practices to align with these strategies.

The project has a particular focus on biosecurity and the environment – two priority areas identified in the Banana Strategic Investment Plan. This dual focus responds to the banana industry’s need to both be prepared for exotic pest and disease incursions, and to adopt best management practices on-farm to improve the water quality of the Great Barrier Reef.

As a result of this project, banana growers will be informed and engaged in stakeholder discussions; be better prepared to deal with biosecurity threats; and maintain their ‘social license’ to farm in close proximity to the Great Barrier Reef. The project communicates regularly with growers, including through levy-funded channels such as the Australian Bananas magazine.

Several areas of strategic importance were progressed including:

  • Implementation of environmental regulations, with discussions now focused on the Queensland Government’s proposed compliance regime
  • Understanding water quality results from several sub catchments in the Wet Tropics and how these may impact on and be communicated to banana growers
  • Strategy development to support the transition of the Panama TR4 Program to industry leadership.

Project activities also included:

  • Working with the Queensland Government to achieve amendments to the draft regulatory provisions, plus technical submission to OGBR about implementation complexities with the proposed environmental regulations, for new farms on land without a cropping history
  • Design of a ground cover project to help gather accurate data for use with water quality models (to be funded by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries)
  • Creating a Future Farming Award recognising outstanding land stewardship in the banana industry, for presentation at the Banana Congress 2021.

ACT NOW

Read these articles about the project in the April 2021 edition of Australian Bananas magazine:

  • Reef news: Latest report card results shows progress towards targets, p38
  • New strategic project, p38
  • More growers doing their best, p39.

Related levy funds
Details

This program is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Banana Fund