The nation’s horticulture Research and Development Corporation, Horticulture Innovation Australia, announced it successfully secured more than $1 million in assistance grants under the Federal Government’s Access to Industry Uses of Agvet Chemicals programme.
Horticulture Innovation Australia Chief Executive John Lloyd said the organisation submitted 40 grant applications in November 2015, 37 of which were successful – signifying a big win for industry.
“The allocation of a large number of grants to the horticulture industry presents strong support for a $9 billion resources sector that is growing at a rapid rate,” he said.
“Over the past five years, the industry has grown in value by $1 billion – that’s a rise of more than 12 per cent.
“This Agvet grant funding will open up more opportunities for growers to better manage pests, weeds and disease, ensuring the sustainability and profitability of the industry, and quality products for consumers.”
By law in Australia, any chemical product used for agriculture must be registered with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) and that is only possible through the provision of scientific evidence that chemical residues are at appropriate levels. These grants will help to provide that scientific evidence.
“The costs for generating and collating such information are high and unfortunately many horticultural crops are too small individually for chemical manufacturers to bear the significant cost of registering products for use,” Mr Lloyd said.
“As a result, horticulturalists are often placed in situations where they risk severe crop losses from insects, weeds and diseases.”
Mr Lloyd said the grants were a result of Horticulture Innovation Australia, growers and industry bodies working together to get positive outcomes for industry.
Up to $1.7 million was available to the 15 Rural Research and Development Corporations under this round of the Agvet programme. The Australian Government anticipates additional funding rounds in 2016-17 and 2017-18.