Vegetable growers in the Lockyer Valley are set to benefit from the next generation of a national extension program aimed to boost productivity and deliver the latest research and development on-farm.
The new $14.1 million VegNET 3.0 program is being delivered through Hort Innovation using vegetable industry levies and funds from the Federal Government, and led by Australia’s peak vegetable industry body AUSVEG.
On-the-ground extension in southern Queensland will be undertaken by Lockyer Valley Growers Inc. which employs dedicated regional development officers with strong grower networks in vegetable producing regions.
The nominated regional development officer for southern Queensland is Zara Hall.
“This project builds on the activities and networks created through VegNET 1.0 and 2.0 to address high priority regional challenges, including pest management, cost of production and new markets. The Lockyer Valley Growers Inc. Committee is looking forward to building on the activities and networking developed through previous iterations of VegNET,” Ms Hall says.
“Activities that will be conducted through the project will include regular grower seminars, working lunches, study tours and workshops, as well as regional communication materials including the quarterly Lockyer Valley Growers Newsletter and fortnightly e-newsletter.”
AUSVEG chief executive Michael Coote says a nationally-coordinated model for the new VegNET program will work hand-in-glove with regional organisations to produce the right mix of consistency and regionality to ensure all growers in every region have the opportunity to benefit advice and support to help grow a sustainable crop and profitable business.
“VegNET is an important program for our industry. Vegetable growers in southern Queensland are world-leaders in the production of high-quality, healthy vegetables and are constantly looking for new ways to innovate and grow more sustainably and develop their businesses,” Mr Coote says.