A re-elected NSW Liberals and Nationals Government will invest $300,000 to create a new citrus research Centre in Griffith.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW, John Barilaro said NSW citrus growers are among the best in the world and the additional research funding will ensure that they can continue to compete in the global marketplace.
“This funding will be used for targeted industry research at the Griffith Centre for Irrigated Agriculture (GCIA), which is ideally situated to service the needs of many of our state’s citrus growers,” Mr Barilaro said.
“It will allow for an upgrade to the centre’s existing irrigation system, ensuring the facility can support research trials using high-density plantings and hybrid pumping as well as new technology such as robotic harvesting.
“This investment means that our growers will have access to the latest research into new citrus varieties and growing techniques, enabling them to address current and future market requirements.”
Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair said the funding complements existing research, following a $50 million investment into the state’s agricultural research institutions last year.
“We are committed to working with the state’s farmers to look at everything from improving on-farm productivity to reducing the threat of pests and disease, ensuring our primary industries remain productive and sustainable into the future,” Mr Blair said.
“NSW already has a global reputation for producing clean and green food we want to make sure that reputation is here to stay, not just now, but for generations to come.”
The GCIA is located in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area with access to 29 hectares of irrigated land to support on-farm research as well as provide a central location for demonstration workshops and growers’ meetings, with conference and meeting room facilities already available onsite.
Member for Murray, Austin Evans welcomed the announcement, saying the Riverina is Australia’s largest citrus producing region and the funding commitment will ensure local growers will benefit from the latest research and development.
“The citrus industry plays and important economic role in the Griffith community and the localised investment will ensure growers in the region will no longer have to travel long distances to either Dareton or Mildura to observe trials and attend workshops.
“I have been working with citrus growers since being elected as the Member for Murray to fund a dedicated research centre in the region. I am excited to say that if the Liberals and Nationals are re-elected in March, will create a first-class citrus centre in Griffith,” Mr Evans said.
“Griffith growers will also directly benefit from seeing how fruit varieties and technologies perform within a local climate and soil type before adopting new practices on-farm.
NSW citrus growers are currently serviced by research underway at the Dareton, Yanco and Ourimbah agricultural research centres, specialising in citrus and irrigated horticultural research. More information about the agricultural research and development is available here.