Horticulture

Funding to support young fruit growers

By Rodney Woods

Fruit Growers Victoria has received $18000 from the Federal Government to develop a 12-month program of selected activities for fruit growers and industry chain partners to expose them to best practice information and technology in the horticulture industry.

The grant is part of the second round of funding from the government’s Building Better Regions Fund – Community Investment Stream.

Fruit Growers Victoria grower services manager Michael Crisera said the funding would go towards assisting young growers.

‘‘It allows us to do more with our emerging leaders,’’ he said.

‘‘It will enable us to do more with our field days, maybe study tours, orchard walks and any sort of technology transfer to our young growers.’’

Mr Crisera said it was important to develop the skills of young people in the industry.

‘‘If we can develop emerging leaders in the industry, it will keep orchardists at the cutting edge,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s fairly tough for growing at the minute so we need all orchardists to be at the cutting edge of technology.’’

Federal Regional Development Minister John McVeigh said the Community Investment Stream was about ensuring regional communities had a strong future.

‘‘The Community Investment Stream targets community activities — from expanded local events and strategic planning, to leadership and capability building — to better map out the ongoing prosperity of our regions,’’ Dr McVeigh said.

‘‘Regional and remote areas of Australia face unique challenges and have a huge potential for economic growth — strong community planning is essential for the successful longevity of regional Australia.’’

Dr McVeigh said following the success of the Building Better Regions Fund, the Turnbull Government committed a further $200million in the 2018-19 federal budget to deliver a third round, ensuring communities had every opportunity to receive the benefits of the government’s ongoing commitment to regional and remote Australia.

Applications for the third round of funding are expected to open in coming months.

■A list of all funding recipients can be found at: www.business.gov.au/assistance/building-better-regions-fund