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Historical document

CITTgroups Australia, 2001-2005 (CT01015)

Key research provider: Australian Citrus Growers Inc
Publication date: October, 2005

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Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.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?

CITTgroups (Citrus Information Technology Transfer Groups) Australia were regional grower groups that met regularly to facilitate information exchange in an informal environment as part of the national citrus communications strategy.

The project was funded through the national citrus levy – research and development, which was managed by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited).

Citrus industry personnel (researchers, extension officers, commercial providers, marketers, exporters, grower organisations and boards, and growers) contribute to the project through presentations, meetings and tours.

CITTgroups Australia was managed by the Australian Citrus Growers (ACG) Communication Manager and operates in the major citrus production areas through part-time coordinators: Riverland, Murray Valley, Riverina, NSW North and Central Coast, Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia.

The CITTgroups Australia program was a critical component of the citrus industry’s communication strategy and complements other communication initiatives such as the Australian Citrus News, ACG website, Citrus Growing Manual, Communications Manager role, ACG Annual Conferences and National Citrus Liaison Meeting.

During the lifetime of the CT01015 CITTgroups Australia project:

  • Approximately 6,299 people attended a CITTgroups Australia activity.
  • 280 CITTgroups Australia activities were conducted.
  • The main topics at CITTgroups Australia activities were:
    • Pruning
    • Pests and Diseases
    • Nutrition
    • Irrigation (and fertigation)
    • Communication (of projects)
    • Fruit size and crop load
    • Spraying and Chemicals
    • Phenology
    • Varieties
    • Orchard Management.

The CITTgroups Australia project links directly to the citrus industry advisory committee (IAC) Strategic Plan through Outcome 5. Market information and research results applied by the citrus industry. However, because of the variety and complexity of information delivered by the CITTgroups Australia project, all IAC outcomes were dealt with throughout the range of grower activities.

These groups were considered, throughout the citrus industry, to be effective in facilitating the communication of research and development outcomes and in bringing about change in production practices on-farm (Yencken 1997, Bessen 1999).

In 2001 an evaluation of the impact of CITTgroups Australia on the awareness and uptake of new technologies and information by citrus growers was undertaken by Amabel Fulton, Rural Development Services. The results demonstrated a high level of impact of CITTgroups Australia on grower awareness and uptake of technology, 92 per cent surveyed cited an example of what they had learned at a CITTgroups Australia meeting and 78 per cent cited changes made as a result of learning.

The results also demonstrated a high level of impact of CITTgroups Australia on grower awareness and uptake of research and development outcomes, 86 per cent surveyed cited at least one research project and 100 per cent demonstrated knowledge of new varieties (Fulton 2001).

The CITTgroups Australia project was reviewed in 2004 by key stakeholders including representatives from CITTgroups Australia Steering Committees, ACG member organisations, researchers, extension officers, commercial providers, growers and CITTgroups Australia coordinators. This review raised issues and created actions to be implemented in the new CITTgroups Australia project, including, regional and national planning, regional steering committees and national project branding.

Related levy funds

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Funding statement:
This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with the voluntary financial support of the citrus industry.

Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2006. The Final Research Report (in part or as whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation (except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)).