“Farming and processing practices within the horticulture sector can significantly benefit the quality of water that enters the reef lagoon” (Brodie et al, 2007).
Horticulture within the Great Barrier Reef Catchment is worth more than $800 million per annum from around 1500 farm enterprises.
The region is responsible for the majority of Australia’s banana, tropical fruit, mandarin, macadamia, avocado and fresh tomato and winter vegetable production.
The horticulture component of the Australian Government Reef Trust programme has been designed by the horticulture industry following the 1st two phases successful Reef Rescue program. Over the next three years the horticulture Reef Program will provide horticulture growers with extension activities, technical support and economic tools to assist growers make informed changes on-farm regarding nutrient, sediment and chemical management. Growcom will endeavour to assist growers financially where possible.
Specifically the Horticulture Reef program has delivered:
- Assisted growers to implement improved practices relating to nutrient, sediment and chemical management
- Streamlined delivery of incentives funds across regions via a mechanism that links funding levels to water quality improvement outcomes.
- Brought about data capture across the horticulture industry using the Growcom Farm Management System to improve the capacity of the industry to benchmark their performance and ensure continuous improvement.
- Reported on the uptake of best practice facilitated by all facets of the reef trust program from participation in capacity building activities to works funded through the grants program.
- Capacity building across the multiple commodities that comprise the horticulture industry
- Effective communication to industry stakeholders and the broader community to ensure widespread adoption and support for the program.
Australian Government Great Barrier Reef
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