NEW PROJECT to invest $5 million in plant protection and biosecurity

Friday, 12 February 2021

Plant protection, biosecurity and sustainable plant production are key areas of levy RD&E investment for Australia’s nursery industry, and growers are set to benefit from a new levy funded project aimed at further enhancing Australia’s defence against endemic and exotic pests and diseases as well as maintaining and enhancing sustainable plant production through systems and support.

The National biosecurity and sustainable plant production program’ (NY20001) is set to invest $5 million over five years into equipping industry with the knowledge and skills to improve industry preparedness, production sustainability and plant protection outcomes. With a national extension network of Plant Protection Officers, the project will take relevant information to growers and assist in adoption and implementation through advice and support.

Funded by Hort Innovation and led by Greenlife Industry Australia’s National Biosecurity Manager, John McDonald, this project will work to raise industry awareness and adoption of best management practices and technological advances for plant protection, biosecurity and climate change impacts, as well as facilitate access to new pesticides and RD&E across nursery production to increase business productivity and profitability.

Ensuring cross-industry collaboration will be a component of this project to provide technical input into national committee organisations and encourage uptake of its high health plant production and best management practice programs. The project will contribute nationally to the plant biosecurity system, providing industry input into exotic plant pest incursions, responses and recovery plans that support business continuity.

This project seeks to further the success of the previous, ‘National Nursery Industry Biosecurity Program’ (NY15004) project, continuing to mitigate the risk industry faces from pests and diseases, climate changes, water access, government regulations and international trade.

Levy investment into plant protection and biosecurity has helped mitigate the impact of recent pest incursions such as Citrus canker, Tomato potato psyllid, Serpentine leafminer and Fall armyworm. All of which have the potential to devastate Australian host plants and crops.

According to the 2018-19 Nursery Industry Statistics report, Australia’s nursery industry is valued at $2.44 billion, so working to protect industry and its assets from pests, diseases and climate change impacts is critical for future sustainability and growth of this thriving sector.

Keep an eye out for more updates as this project progresses.

To read more, check out our latest media release:

The ‘National biosecurity and sustainable plant production program’ (NY20001) project is funded by Hort Innovation using nursery research and development levy and funds from the Australian Government.