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Historical document

Facilitating the communication and development of the Citrus Industry in the Murray Valley (CT05004)

Key research provider: Murray Valley Citrus Board
Publication date: January, 2010

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Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.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 Murray Valley Citrus Board (MVCB) continued the communication and development of the Citrus Industry through its Industry Development Officer (IDO) position jointly funded by Hort Innovation (which was then Horticulture Australia Limited) under the project title “Facilitating the communication and development of the Citrus Industry in the Murray Valley”.

Growers, packers/processors and researchers/agronomists all highly valued the information flow and opportunities for more co-ordinated Best Practice and market-driven approaches to industry development arising from the MVIDO Project. While quantitative data was difficult to define, qualitative information and the credibility of the Project/MVIDO role within the industry was certainly forthcoming. There were a range of economic, seasonal, market and broader industry issues impacting on the generic outcomes determined in the application for the 2005-2010 Project.

As there was no evaluation plan put into place at the commencement of the Project, there were no survey instruments or measurement mechanisms in place to progressively measure the effectiveness of the Project, although quite a lot of anecdotal information existed. The role of the Project in fostering industry development at a national level also needed not be underestimated.

The Murray Valley Industry Development Officer (MVIDO) position was created by the MVCB in 1999 to co-ordinate the transfer of information from research and markets to industry and to assist in the identification of research and development opportunities and communicate these opportunities back to the research community for consideration.

Tony Filippi took over the MVIDO project from Peter Morrish in late 2005, however the position had been held by Mary Cannard since June 2007.

This jointly funded project worked to achieve International Best Practice in the Australian Citrus Industry, in particular the Murray Valley citrus growing region.

Outcomes included:

  • The adoption of best practice technology for improved fruit size and packouts.
  • A majority of Murray Valley citrus growers complying with OH&S requirements.
  • Increased accuracy of crop forecasting results for the Murray Valley citrus growing region.
  • Development of a national crop forecasting system with ACG and other citrus growing regions.
  • The increased adoption of communication technology (computers & faxes): crop regulation; and best practice citrus production. This MVIDO assisted this through the co-ordination and planning of regional CITTgroup activities on a regular basis, reflecting industry priorities and anticipating seasonal requirements.
  • The incorporation of the citrus growing manual by growers and managers

This project was driven by a steering committee comprising of growers, packers and representatives of research organizations to ensure the needs of the citrus industry were being addressed and to maximize the opportunities for 2-way information exchange between growers and researchers.

The anecdotal information provided within evaluation discussions with stakeholders concerning outputs such as industry development, culture change and best practice on-farm developments, was very positive. The fact that focus groups/workshops and individual participants brought forward a range of issues during discussions and were willing to advance constructive comments on areas for inclusion in the 2010-2013 project funding proposal, was seen as proof of on-going industry development and awareness of best practice issues (ie. a “positive culture” development).

The Murray Valley Citrus Board was determined to continue the positive outcomes and outputs through the employment of a Citrus Industry Development Officer. 


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Funding statement:
This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with the financial support of Murray Valley Citrus Board.

Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2010. 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)).