January 5, 2012
AUSVEG has launched a three-year initiative which aims to enhance communication within Australia’s potato industry and promote clearer information exchange.
The Potato Industry Extension Program, jointly managed by AUSVEG and Horticulture Australia Limited, is specifically aimed at ensuring that growers and processors are made better aware of the outcomes of Research and Development (R&D) programs funded by industry and the Australian Government and are provided with information that can be used on a practical level.
AUSVEG is the National Peak Industry Body for Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.
“Growers and processors clearly do not have the time to read through lengthy research papers or decipher scientific processes,” said AUSVEG CEO Richard Mulcahy.
“It is essential that they are supplied with lucid and intelligible information about R&D projects which can be put into practice in either the short-term or longer term. Through this program, AUSVEG will facilitate multi-level and multi-directional information exchange between growers, processors and the research sector which will enhance understanding for mutual benefit.”
Given that growers use the Internet less frequently than many in our community, AUSVEG will be focusing on more traditional methods to disseminate R&D findings.
“We will be bringing people together from various parts of the industry, and be focusing on face-to-face meetings,” said Mr Mulcahy.
“A key element of the program will be a series of workshops held quarterly in Australia’s major potato growing regions. Ultimately, these presentations involving leading researchers will ensure the ideas of growers, processors, suppliers, agronomists and researchers become more widely available and more readily shared.”
Importantly, AUSVEG will facilitate an annual survey of growers and agronomists to gauge the success the program and obtain feedback on its implementation.
Furthermore, the Potato Industry Extension Program will also lend greater exposure to broader issues in the potato industry.
“The impacts of importing and exporting potatoes in Australia, skills retention, and overseas developments are all issues which members of the Australian industry are eager to hear about, particularly given the global economic climate,” said Mr Mulcahy.
“AUSVEG’s exposure of these types of issues will be enhanced through the Potato Industry Extension Program.”
Updates and key events regarding the Potato Industry Extension Program will be reported on in Potatoes Australia magazine and other industry publications.