Helping Murray valley citrus growers thrive in an ever changing environment by addressing regional and national issues (CT09044)
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Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.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 position funded by Hort Innovation (which was then Horticulture Australia Limited) using voluntary contributions from the MVCB and matched funds from the Australian Government under the project “Facilitating the communication and development of the Citrus Industry in the Murray Valley” from February 2010 to January 2013. The project worked to achieve international best practice in the Australian Citrus Industry, in particular the Murray Valley citrus growing region of Victoria and NSW.
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.
Mary Cannard has held the position of Industry Development Officer for the Murray Valley Citrus Board since July 2007.
The project was driven by a steering committee comprising of growers, packers and representatives of research organisations to ensure the needs of the citrus industry were being addressed and to maximise the opportunities for two-way information exchange between growers and researchers.
The MVIDO facilitated best practice by assisting the transfer of information to approximately 380 citrus growers in the Murray Valley using a range of communication and capacity building methods including grower information sessions and farm walks, technical fact sheets, media releases, newsletters, website and field days.
Growers, packers/processors and researchers/agronomists highly valued the information flow and opportunities for more coordinated best practice and market-driven approaches to industry development arising from the project. While quantitative data was difficult to define, qualitative information and the credibility of the project/MVIDO role within the industry was certainly forthcoming through an independent evaluation of the project.
The anecdotal information provided within evaluation discussions with industry stakeholders concerning outputs such as industry development, culture change and best practice on-farm developments was very positive. The fact that interviews with Murray Valley citrus growers brought forward a range of issues during discussions and interviewees were willing to advance constructive comments on areas for inclusion in future industry development work could be seen as proof of on-going industry development and awareness of best practice issues (ie. a “positive culture” development).
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This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with the financial support of Murray Valley Citrus Board.
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