Horticulture

Funding to ease chemical test cost burden

By Country News

The nation’s horticulture research and development corporation Hort Innovation has announced it successfully secured more than $1million in assistance grants under the Federal Government’s Access to Industry Uses of Agricultural and Veterinary (Agvet) Chemicals program.

Hort Innovation chief executive John Lloyd said the organisation submitted 27 grant applications in November, 16 of which were successful.

‘‘The allocation of a large number of grants to the horticulture industry presents strong support for a $10billion resources sector that is growing at a rapid rate,’’ he said.

‘‘The gross value of Australian horticultural production is projected to increase to $13.6billion in 2022-23, with increased fruit and nut production being key drivers.

‘‘This Agvet grant funding will open up more opportunities for growers to better manage pests, weeds and disease, ensuring the sustainability and profitability of the industry, and quality products for consumers.’’

By law in Australia, any chemical product used for agriculture must be registered with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), and that is only possible through the provision of scientific evidence that chemical residues are at appropriate levels.

These grants will help to provide that scientific evidence.

‘‘The costs for generating and collating such information are high, and unfortunately many horticultural crops are too small individually for chemical manufacturers to bear the significant cost of registering products for use,’’ Mr Lloyd said.

‘‘As a result, horticulturalists can be placed in situations where they risk severe crop losses from insects, weeds and diseases.’’

■For more information on Agvet Grants, visit: www.agriculture.gov.

au/ag-farm-food/ag-vet-chemicals/improved-access-agvet-chemicals/agvet-assistance-grants?mc—cid=

b9713d5642&mc—eid=227788f358

■To see a list of the chemical grants including the horticulture sectors that stand to benefit, visit: https://horticulture.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Grant-list.docx.pdf?mc—cid=b9713d

5642&mc—eid=227788f358