New initiatives to support North Queensland growers and assist preparation for future risks

Rachel Chambers

Rachel Chambers

Image: Growcom

Queensland Fruit & Vegetable Growers (QFVG) has announced two new initiatives to help growers tackle future risks and plan for growth.

The first initiative is a collaboration between QFVG and the FNQ Food Incubator that will see a team of business advisors provide individual, tailored support to develop and update existing farm business plans, building the capacity of horticultural businesses to plan for and manage risks, including drought.

The collaboration forms part of QFVG’s Farm Business Resilience Program (FBRP) being delivered via the organisation’s project delivery arm, Growcom.

QFVG chief executive Rachel Chambers said horticultural growers were encouraged to take advantage of this collaboration to achieve their business and financial goals.

“The FNQ Food Incubator assists growers to develop their business and value add to what they’re already doing,” Chambers said.

“This is a significant opportunity for industry to plan, prepare and take action to ensure their business is resilient and better able to combat future impacts, including drought.”

FNQ Food Incubator chief executive Lara Wilde applauded the initiative.

“This is an insightful collaboration from the team at Growcom. At the FNQ Food Incubator, we work hands on with many farmers throughout Queensland to assist them to be more sustainable and create new income streams through value adding,” Wilde said.

“A collaboration to deliver farm business resilience plans is a logical move to enhance our ability to support farmers.”

The second initiative is a new partnership between QFVG and the Rural Financial Counselling Service North Queensland (RFCSNQ) that will see North Queensland horticultural growers are set to be better supported to achieve their business and financial goals.

The support services announced form part of QFVG’s Farm Business Resilience Program (FBRP) being delivered via the organisation’s project delivery arm, Growcom.

Chambers said under the new partnership horticultural growers in North Queensland will be able to access the Rural Financial Counselling Service to explore risks to their business and develop their farm business resilience plan.

“This is a fantastic outcome for our North Queensland growers as traditionally these services have only been available to livestock producers,” Chambers said.

“With the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting drier conditions ahead, it is important that horticultural growers prepare now so they can mitigate the impacts of future droughts.”

RFCSNQ chief executive David Arnold said he and the team were looking forward to working with Growcom to support the implementation of farm business resilience plans in the horticultural sector.

“We’ve been engaged by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) now for approximately 18 months delivering the FBRP across the grazing sector in North and Central Western Queensland and we are seeing an excellent take-up of the programme,” Arnold said.

“Our specialist rural financial counsellors (RFC) have the skills and industry experience to support growers. Just as we have RFCs knowledgeable in the grazing sector, we have RFCs equally knowledgeable in the horticultural industry.”