AU: Veg growers to get a helping hand

On Wednesday 31 August, a new programme was announced offering Hawkesbury vegetable growers advice and support on growing techniques to stay at the top of their game.

The state government’s Greater Sydney Local Land Services has just started a three-year partnership with Hort Innovation worth $1 million. 

The partnership aims to educate growers about the latest research in horticulture so they can start reaping the benefits in boosted crop yields.

Head of GSLLS David Hogan said the project, part of Hort Innovation’s National Vegetable Extension Network, would also specifically provide interpreters for Chinese, Vietnamese and Khmer growers to enable the knowledge to penetrate as widely as possible.

Training events and field days will be held at sites around the Sydney basin, including the GSLLS site at Richmond.

Pitt Town Bottoms grower Mario Muscat, who produces sweet corn, cabbages and cauliflowers with wife Joyce, was enthusiastic about the programme. “I’m going to help them make this work,” he said.

“My role will be to make contact with growers and make them [GSLLS] keep it in the real world,” he laughed. “Academics are good but I want to join academia with reality.”

Gesturing at the GSLLS demonstration crop field, he said “Growers will be able to see results here without taking a risk to their own farm of contamination, bacteria etc. They can’t afford to experiment themselves.”

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