Tasmania Australia cherry cherries orchard flowering

The Tasmanian government has announced nearly A$6m (US$4.4m) of funding for research farms in the state’s north to deliver better outcomes for Tasmanian agriculture.

In partnership with the University of Tasmania, the government will invest A$5m (US$3.6m) towards a A$7.4m (US$5.4m) suite of upgrades for the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture farms including the Forthside Vegetable Research Facility.

It’s the first steps in the 'Tasmania’s Research Farm Capacity: supporting agricultural research, development, and extension (RD&E) for 2050’ plandesigned to boost the delivery of RD&E for Tasmanian farmers and agribusiness, while investing in research farm assets, infrastructure, facilities, and equipment upgrades.

The joint investment is set to upgrade these centres of excellence and ensure they can provide dairy and vegetable RD&E and education for the next decade and forms part of the UTAS vision to develop an integrated ‘future farming hub’ for agriculture in the state’s north.

Additionally, the state government also announced it would work with fruit growers to determine the feasibility of whether the Grove Farm in the Huon Valley could support an industry-led horticultural centre for RD&E and demonstrations.

It will also examine the feasibility of establishing an additional insurance population from the apple and pear heritage orchard currently at the Grove site to protect and promote fruit genetic heritage.

Together all of these commitments aim to support the Tasmanian government’s goal to grow the value of the state’s agriculture sector to A$10bn (US$7.3bn) a year by 2050.