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Completed project

Improving biosecurity preparedness of the Australian citrus industry (CT17001)

Key research provider: Plant Health Australia
Publication date: Monday, September 13, 2021

What was it all about?

Building upon the outcomes of earlier levy-funded project Protecting Australia’s citrus industry from biosecurity threats (CT12022), this investment was established in 2018 to improve the industry’s ability to respond to exotic pests, raise industry awareness about the importance of exotic citrus pests, and develop a nationally coordinated program for targeted surveillance activities.

The project acknowledges that the industry faces a number of significant exotic pest threats that have the potential to affect production as well as market access. These include Huanglongbing and its psyllid vectors, citrus canker and citrus variegated chlorosis (Xylella). Its work bolstered biosecurity capacity and technical capability for the Australian citrus industry, and included a range of preparedness, response and awareness activities.

To achieve these objectives, key outputs were delivered under five focus areas:

  • Surveillance: Data relating to exotic pests from commercial, urban, and peri-urban locations were collected through the Korea, China, Thailand (KCT) Surveillance Program and the Asian Citrus Psyllid Trapping Program (established in 2019 to trap and survey for Asian citrus psyllid)
  • Increased awareness: Communication materials and biosecurity presentations about exotic citrus pests were shared with growers to increase awareness and support surveillance activities
  • Capacity building: A National Citrus Surveillance Coordinator was appointed who responsible for working with growers, researchers, industry bodies and the Australian and state government agencies to coordinate citrus surveillance and biosecurity activities across the country. The First Detectors Network (created under Protecting Australia’s citrus industry from biosecurity threats (CT12022)) was also maintained.
  • Preparedness: Pesticide control options for high priority exotic pests were identified
  • Governance: The Huanglongbing Taskforce was established and then merged with the Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Committee in 2020.

Outcomes were shared with various stakeholders, including growers, researchers and decision makers, to support awareness across the Australian citrus industry of the importance of biosecurity.


Read these articles to find out more about this project and Australian citrus biosecurity:

Related levy funds


Funding statement:
This project was funded through the Hort Innovation Citrus Fund using the citrus R&D levy and contributions from the Australian Government

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