Horticulture is growing rapidly as an industry in Australia, with a 40 per cent rise in value over the five years to 2017/18 to $13.2 billion. And that growth is expected to continue, with the sector’s farm gate production having the potential to increase to between $20 and $30 billion by 2030. To support this growth, it’s vital that the nation’s horticulture Research and Development Corporation is constantly refining business practices to service levy payers and the industries they work in. In line with that approach, Hort Innovation has launched a new Extension initiative to ensure communication and extension activities truly support business decisions and enhance practices on farm.
What extension activities are currently offered through Hort Innovation?
Hort Innovation is currently working with its partners – such as industry groups, universities and government agencies – to deliver hundreds of projects for horticulture levy payers, of which 80-odd investments are dedicated to extension in the form of industry development and communication, and more than 80 investments also involve extension components.
What is the purpose of Hort Innovation’s new extension initiative?
The extension initiative will enhance the coordination, communication and application of research and development outcomes, and will include a team of Regional Extension Managers, who will work in the regions. These managers will play a linking role and bring broad coalitions together to share skills and capacity, to solve identified regional problems. Service providers will benefit from building their technical and extension skills and knowledge via across industry networks. Collaborative approaches to solving regional problems will enable tangible outcomes for growers to use on farm.
Will this new service replace existing extension activities?
No. Extension activities currently offered through Hort Innovation are important to the industries they service. The new Extension Framework will complement and add to existing work to ensure growers have the best possible access to outcomes from their levy investments. On top of that, to ensure value for money for levy payers and project alignment, Hort Innovation will undertake a review of current investments in extension, which is due to be completed by late 2020.
Where will Regional Extension Managers be based and what will they do?
Six horticulture regions have been identified for targeted extension, capturing 94 per cent of horticultural activity in Australia by employment and production value. Regional Extension Managers will operate in these regions.
How do I access extension services or get more information?
For more information, call Hort Innovation on (02) 8295 2300 or contact us by submitting the form below and we will have the right people in your area give you a call.
To assist delivery partners navigate the changing extension environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a guide has been developed to provide insight into how to best undertake extension activities remotely. You can download the guide from our delivery partners portal here.
Extension Team Strategy at a glance
View the Extension Team Strategy in a easy to read two-page overview now.