Horticulture

Goulburn Murray Valley Regional Fruit Fly Project wins two state awards

By Country News

The Goulburn Murray Valley Regional Fruit Fly Project has been recognised twice for reducing pest numbers by more than half in the past two years.

The project took out the Prime Super Agricultural Innovation Award at the Victoria Regional Achievement and Community Awards and was also voted overall winner of the Victorian Regional Achiever of the Year Award by an independent panel of expert judges.

As well as impacting fruit fly numbers, GMV regional fruit fly co-ordinator Ross Abberfield said the project had increased Australian stone fruit exports in the past year by 40 per cent.

He said the success was a result of the continued commitment of project partners to find a fresh and innovative way to combat fruit fly.

“The cohesive nature of the project’s core objectives to limit the effects of the pest, coupled with the community’s willingness to get behind the ‘No Flies On Us’ message has resulted in gains on a number of fronts in the fight against fruit fly,” Mr Abberfield said.

“Each of our project partners has played a pivotal role in raising awareness and creating engagement concerning the risks posed by QFF, to not only home gardeners, but the region’s multi-million horticultural industry and the local economy.

``I would like to thank and acknowledged them for the role they have played in the project’s success so far.”

The project was up against four finalists in the agricultural innovation award and nine award winners in the overall regional achiever award.

It was established in 2017 to encourage the community, industry and government to take ownership in managing fruit fly in the region.

“Under the guidance and direction of the project’s governance group the project has highlighted what can be achieved through working collectively toward a common cause,” Mr Abberfield said.

The project takes in the council areas of Moira, Greater Shepparton, Campaspe, Strathbogie and Berrigan.

It was funded through the Managing Fruit Fly in Victoria Regional Grants Program and auspiced by Moira Shire Council.