Everything starts with a seed

December 07, 2016

Australia’s $10billion horticultural industry is made up of numerous sectors, however one of these sectors — which in some cases is smaller in its literal size — holds a 10th of the industry’s overall value.

The nursery sector makes up $1.13billion of the horticulture industry, a recent report by Horticulture Innovation Australia Ltd has found.

Nursery and Garden Industry Australia chief executive officer Peter Vaughan said the large figure highlighted the industry’s contribution to the human, environmental and economic wellbeing of the community.

‘‘The industry is far broader than the ornamental market which springs to mind for many people and includes large-scale forestry, medicinal products, revegetation and starter plants for fruit and vegetable production,’’ Mr Vaughan said.

‘‘Australian horticulture is a vibrant and diverse sector and the nursery industry forms a key part of the nation’s supply chain, transcending state borders and spreading across urban, rural and coastal environments.

‘‘Essentially, a huge amount of what goes from paddock to plate starts with Australia’s nursery growers — whether that’s root stock for orchards or seedlings for vegetable production.

‘‘On top of that, plants and trees are beneficial for health and wellbeing, keeping our cities cool and reducing pollution. With green spaces often overlooked in urban planning processes, the industry continues to support a national campaign to increase urban green space by 20 per cent by 2020, an initiative which began in 2013.’’

Maintaining the industry’s reputation as a supplier of high quality and safe stock is critically important, meaning that ongoing investment in areas like biosecurity and pest and disease management are key.

‘‘With a wide variety of plants comes a huge range of pest and disease threats, and the industry is continuously improving its on-farm biosecurity regime through best practice programs,’’ Mr Vaughan said.

‘‘The industry is constantly evolving to keep up with changes in consumer preferences, social factors and technology, which will see its value and contribution to the community continue to grow.’’

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