Industry development officer for the Riverina citrus industry (CT04026)
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Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.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?
The Industry Development Officer for the Riverina Citrus Industry funded through Riverina Citrus and Horticulture Australia Ltd, provided the regional citrus industry the services of an Industry Development Officer managed by Riverina Citrus.
The position was developed due to reducing extension activities through the NSW Department of Primary Industries to facilitate the technology transfer of information from research to growers, and from markets to the industry. The role also encompassed the monitoring of planting statistics and development of the crop forecast for the Riverina through annual measurements.
The key activities of the position facilitated the technology transfer of the latest best practice information between researchers and the citrus industry of the Riverina. This was predominately undertaken through presentations at selected venues or on-property farm walks.
Specific specialised accredited training courses were also co-ordinated in the region, particularly focussed on export market access requirements and Occupational Health and Safety. These courses provided information to ensure that the local industry was up to date on requirements of workplans and legislatively. With the workplans, the accreditation allowed the personal to then inspect orchards for market access to those specific export markets. For China, the Riverina was the only southern citrus growing region to export a container of Navels under the strict pest and disease requirements put in place.
The main benefits of the project were to provide the regional industry with a linkage to the research and market access requirements and information they required while providing industry information on an independent basis for crop forecasting and frost temperature monitoring.
The previous three seasons had been extremely difficult for the regional Riverina citrus industry with drought, frost and hail events. The Industry Development Officer role was flexible enough to move to providing specific information for growers on these issues and options in managing their orchard if they were affected.
Growers and industry representatives within the region felt that this position and project had been positive for the industry with the seeds set for strong industry growth with the appropriate climatic and financial improvements.
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This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with the financial support of Riverina Citrus.
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