Horticulture growers in Townsville, Burdekin and Ayr have better access to support services after Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) dedicated more resources to the region.
QRIDA’s eleventh Regional Area Manager office opened in Townsville in October, giving growers direct access to on-farm, local assistance and expertise.
North Queensland Regional Area Manager Elizabeth Ahern is familiar with the region’s agricultural assets, having grown up on a cane farm at Ayr.
“Townsville and north Queensland is home to some of the most fertile farming land in the state and the region is fortunate to have a variety of horticulture primary production enterprises,” Elizabeth said.
“It was the ideal place to open QRIDA’s eleventh Regional Area Manager office, to better service the region’s growers.”
Elizabeth said Townsville and north Queensland agriculture was most commonly associated with sugarcane, but the region’s growers were excellent at making the most of diversification.
“The region is home to bananas and mangoes as well as other fruit and vegetables, so there is plenty of opportunity for growers to make the most of QRIDA’s assistance,” she said.
First Start Loans of up to $2,000,000 are available to assist in the early years of establishing a primary production enterprise while Sustainability Loans of up to $1,300,000 are available to assist in achieving a more productive and sustainable primary production enterprise.
Elizabeth is available to meet growers on-farm to chat about how QRIDA can help them get ahead.
“I encourage farmers not to self-assess but get in contact to find out more about QRIDA services,” she said.
The QRIDA north Queensland office is at Verde Building, 445 Flinders Street, Townsville. For more information Freecall 1800 623 946 or visit www.qrida.qld.gov.au