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Completed project

Development of the National onion industry extension strategy (VN20000)

Key research provider: Rural Consulting Group
Publication date: Tuesday, September 14, 2021

What was it all about?

This short investment examined the Australian onion industry’s extension needs and opportunities to develop a delivery strategy. Through industry consultation, the research team identified key development needs in the major onion growing regions of Australia, proposing a pathway to enhance industry capability.

With only 225 growers spread across multiple growing regions, the opportunity for onion-specific on-the-ground extension for each issue is limited. It was identified that effective prioritisation and targeting is required for maximum impact.

The onions industry is a mature one, with experienced growers who draw heavily on agronomists for advice. The team found that, by necessity, delivery of extension services needs to take a systems approach and include key delivery partners such as Onions Australia network, agronomists, research partners, agribusiness, and cross-industry extension staff and programs.

The team recommended an approach involving multidisciplinary action groups to focus on addressing Tier 1 and Tier 2 issues, plus an industry role to facilitate their function, oversee action strategies and evaluate progress.

  • Tier 1 issues were defined as being specific to onions, deemed critical, urgent and important, and requiring action-based strategies to change the status quo – such as chemical crop protection options
  • Tier 2 issues already have a sound knowledge base but require ongoing attention, with information available through existing channels, agronomists and cross-industry programs.

Resourcing and funding arrangements and the use of a national governance system were also recommended.


Access the National Onion Industry Extension Strategy to find out more.


Related levy funds


Funding statement:
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation, using the onion research and development levy and contributions from the Australian Government.

Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2021. The Final Research Report (in part or as a 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).