Job offersmore »

Tweeting Growers

Top 5 - yesterday

  • No news has been published yesterday.

Top 5 - last week

Top 5 - last month

Exchange ratesmore »

University of Queensland launches Centre for Horticultural Science

A new Centre for Horticultural Science will be launched at The University of Queensland in 2018 to respond to the demand for plant-based foods, vegetables, fruit and nuts that improve human health.

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said the centre would build on the ability of UQ’s world-class horticultural researchers to position Australia to compete in the rapidly evolving global fresh fruit and vegetable trade.

He said horticulture was one of the largest and most diverse industries in Australian agriculture, accounting for about 18 per cent of its total value.

“Vegetables, fruit and nuts are key to our nutritional and physical wellbeing and we know there is great potential for science to boost the yields and nutritional content of horticultural foods even further,” Professor Høj said.

“We’ve seen from the rising global demand for avocados that there is increasing consumer awareness of the importance of horticulture to health and that science can sustainably increase supply to meet that demand.

“In partnership with growers and industry collaborators, this new Centre for Horticultural Science will help grow the future of horticulture in Australia as a key domestic and premium export market.”

The new centre will be led by agricultural biotechnologist Professor Neena Mitter.

Professor Mitter said there were many opportunities to grow horticulture through on-farm management systems and the high-tech approaches of big data, genomics and biotechnology.

“The majority of horticultural products grown in Australia are sold domestically, but Queensland is in a good position to access the Asian markets,” she said.

“The centre will leverage the expertise of horticultural scientists in the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) who work collaboratively with our partners in the Queensland government and with industry in the areas of horticultural crop protection and crop improvement.”

Professor Mitter aims to double the $37 million worth of contracted research work currently undertaken by QAAFI’s horticultural scientists over five years.

She has an impressive record in her field, having pioneered world-first techniques in developing a stem cell multiplication method to supply up to 500 times more avocado plants to industry than was previously possible, with minimal additional resources.

She pioneered the non-genetically modified non-toxic BioClay crop pest and disease protection product, reducing the need for pesticides.

Professor Mitter has collaborated with government, industry and philanthropic organisations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which supported the early development of her BioClay product through a Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Explorations Award.

Source: The University of Queensland

Publication date: 11/23/2017



Other news in this sector:

3/16/2018 "To feed growing global cities Dutch companies need a different mindset"
3/16/2018 Salads straight from the city
3/16/2018 Horticultural marketing in India: trying to be on TOP of Operation Greens
3/14/2018 "Wheat grows twice as fast under LEDs"
3/14/2018 New Zealand partnership to drive innovation in perennial fruits
3/12/2018 The multiple benefits of Aqua4D
3/12/2018 Oxygen level in water: an underestimated factor in plant growth
3/8/2018 Non-woven fabric combats frost
3/8/2018 US (IL): Scientists engineer crops to conserve water, resist drought
3/8/2018 Tomato Masters expands at request of Carrefour
3/7/2018 "Structural changes necessary for healthy sector"
3/6/2018 Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme project proposal deadline extended
3/6/2018 Nigeria: Tomato growers say policy has enriched more farmers
3/6/2018 Israel: Winter pilot study on basil obtains a 66% increase in yield
3/5/2018 "The end of the 'grey' bell pepper is on the horizon"
3/2/2018 New biological label introduced in the US out of protest
3/2/2018 New packaging line processes 20,000 mini cucumbers per hour
3/1/2018 Maxstim shows positive results in raspberries
3/1/2018 Production and training issues facing CEA growers
3/1/2018 Hotspots for crops on Mars