Article by: Hari Yellina
The Australian Mango Industry Association (AMIA) is optimistic that two major projects will greatly boost grower production and profitability over the next five years. The projects, which were unveiled today, will integrate extension and communication to better promote innovation and build capabilities to maximise yield, optimise quality, and drive demand, according to AMIA CEO Brett Kelly. “What excites me is that the initiatives are in ‘Best Practice’ and Research and Development (R&D), so a lot of it is a continuation of a lot of the wonderful work that has been done in the last three years,” he explained. “For our producers, it will entail a lot more emphasis on-farm.”
In general, there will be a greater emphasis on better farming practises at the farm level. It will also concentrate on gaining a deeper grasp of and working with the various varieties of mangoes while taking into account their seasonality. There will be a lot more R&D and outcomes for better running their farms, whether they are a large or small grower. The AMIA, our research partners, and Hort Innovation will continue to generate tremendous results for industry by working together on these efforts, which will connect into the Mango Strategic Investment Plan (2022-2026).” Hort Innovation used the mango research and development levy and contributions from the Australian government to support these projects, which will be carried out by the national mango research and development team.
Mr Kelly points out that Australia has a lot of potential for domestic demand development, and preserving quality and consistency is one of the most important elements in realising that promise. He added, “Another interesting aspect of the project is that the AMIA now has a very sound structure.” “On the ground, we have two Industry Development Officers, an Industry Development Manager, a Communications Manager, and we collaborate closely with Hort Innovation and their staff.” So, there’s a really good staff, and there’s a consistent rotation and exposure to the growers, so it’ll last all season.
There are a number of specific project areas that will benefit our growers, but in a nutshell, getting a better understanding of the varieties and how things like flowering affect them, as well as how to maintain the best quality – because understanding the fruit from that perspective will help Australia maintain its reputation for quality.” To keep the industry up to date on the latest research, marketing, and other industry news, the communication project will produce an industry magazine, newsletters, social media content, and website content. Mr Kelly stated, “Communication is the key to everything.”
Jane Wightman, Hort Innovation’s Head of Extension, said the Australian mango sector expressed its appreciation for the extension initiative during the recent Strategic Investment Plan (2022-2026) renewal consultations. “The Australian mango industry has great goals for better profitability, efficiency, and sustainability,” she said. “These goals are based on the generation and application of research and development, which is enhanced by an inventive culture that fosters continuous improvement and proactive risk management.” The formation of a joint project reference group is one of the first actions of both projects (PRG). Over the next five years, this group will be critical in steering project teams and activities. Stakeholders in the Australian mango industry who want to join the PRG should seek for an Expression of Interest in AMIA’s industry communication.”