New Research Facility To Boost Almond Exports

The Andrews Labor Government will establish a new experimental orchard in Mildura to boost almond research and training and drive production and export growth.

The new 25ha research facility will support the growing almond production of river communities in Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales.

Additional scientists will be engaged to expand on current research and development into disease management, food safety, water use efficient production systems and increased quality and production volumes.

Research at the Mildura facility will focus on enhancing the quality of almond crops, while also helping to minimise pest and disease damage to meet export standards for residues and food safety tolerances.

By increasing research into the almond industry, the Labor Government aims to improve production and export volumes while producing higher quality almonds that use less water and nutrients.

Victoria’s investment will be complemented by today’s announcement by South Australian Minister for Agriculture, Leon Bignell, of a new National Almond Centre of Excellence to be developed at Loxton in partnership with the University of Adelaide.

Minister for Agriculture, Jaala Pulford, said the Labor Government would collaborate with South Australia and the Almond Board of Australia (ABA) as part of new national program for almond research in partnership with international research agencies.

Almonds are now Australia’s largest and fastest growing horticulture export, with the national crop expected to reach a farm-gate value in excess of $700 million in 2015.

Almonds were Victoria’s highest value horticulture export in 2013–14, valued at $366 million. This was a significant increase in value from the previous year ($137 million), with export volumes nearly doubling.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture, Jaala Pulford

“The Andrews Labor Government is supporting the local almond industry to grow exports and further build recognition of our almonds in the global market.”

“We’re committed to enhancing the productivity of Victorian food and fibre producers, which will create jobs and attract investment to our river communities.”

Quotes attributable to the Chair of Almond Board of Australia, Neale Bennett

“With nearly 70 per cent of Australia’s almonds grown in Victoria and over 70 per cent of the crop now being exported, the focus on issues that make our almonds even more competitive in overseas markets is a key to ensuring the industry continues to prosper.”

“A pleasing aspect of the negotiations is the co-operation between the Ministers and Department staff in Victoria and South Australia to ensure an increased capability for the industry is supported.”

14 April 2015

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