Horticulture help

By Country News

Six organisations across regional Victoria will help horticulture businesses innovate, expand and employ more people, thanks to grants from the Victorian Government.

Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford has announced the latest recipients of the Horticulture Innovation Fund, which will see grants of up to $50000 to help grower businesses test and adapt new technologies and processes to boost production, exports into new markets and broaden the diversity of products sold overseas.

The six projects announced will receive grants totalling $270330 and include:

■Monash University: To evaluate the commercial use of a new polycarbonate for protected vegetable cropping to improve production and quality.

■Apple and Pear Australia Ltd: New software to reduce barriers for the commercialisation and adoption of the Difference of Absorbance meter for improved fruit quality.

■Barengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Corporation: To support the investigation of crop pollination by native bees to address production efficiencies within native foods.

■Australian Wine Research Institute: To develop water budgeting and canopy management tools to assist the wine industry adapt to a changing climate.

■Australian Wine Research Institute: To improve management options for smoke-tainted wines, including testing commercial remediation options.

■Nursery and Garden Industry Victoria: To support the development of a weed control information package for management of nursery weeds.

To date, 11 horticulture projects across Victoria have been successful in receiving help from the Horticulture Innovation Fund, with grants totalling $511048.

■For details of these projects, visit: agriculture.vic.gov.au