The Australian federal government, Tasmanian state government and Tasmanian horticulture industry have announced a A$130,000 collaborative project to grow the state’s horticulture industry.
The Tasmanian Horticulture Growth project aims to boost productivity, profitability and performance of the island-state’s horticulture industry.
“The project will focus on identifying and exploiting market opportunities for the sector in Tasmania to deliver real outcomes for farmers," Australian assistant minister for agriculture and water resource, Anne Ruston, said in a statement released 5 April. "We are committed to boosting returns for farmers and driving increased profits back through the farmgate, and this is another reflection of that commitment.”
The federal government and state government are each investing A$50,000 in the project, with the industry investing A$30,000.
The project builds on the recommendations from the Tasmanian Fruit and Vegetal Industry Taskforce, which was established to examine ways to boost Tasmania’s horticulture sector and boost exports.
The Tasmanian government has planned to grow the state’s annual agriculture value tenfold to A$10bn by 2050.
"Agriculture is a big contributor to our state's economy, and fruit and vegetables were worth over A$310m for Tasmania in 2013/14," said Jeremy Rockliff, Tasmanian minister for primary industries and water. "There is incredible opportunity to grow this further, with new trade opportunities developing across Asia, our state's favourable biosecurity status and great growing conditions for a range of horticultural products.
"These are the competitive advantages that we want to assist local growers to capitalise on through this project."