Cropping

Funding renewed for plant biosecurity research

By Jamie Salter

The future of plant health research in Australia will benefit from renewed funding for the Plant Biosecurity Research Initiative.

Under the initiative, 10 collaborative projects have previously been funded, with a total value of $50 million, to support plant biosecurity research.

The projects aim to improve research on risks to agriculture including Xylella, brown marmorated stink bug and fall armyworm.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said continued investment in plant biosecurity research was vital to the sustainability of Australian agriculture and the environment.

“The re-signing of the PBRI agreement will strengthen collaboration and co-ordination across the Australian plant industry sector on biosecurity research,” Mr Littleproud said.

“The PBRI was established in 2017 to ensure we co-ordinate our research, development and extension efforts for plant biosecurity.

“The national Xylella co-ordinator initiative, jointly funded between Wine Australia and Hort Innovation, shows how effective PBRI can be in bringing plant industries together to fight a common threat.”

Mr Littleproud said the funding renewal emphasised the importance of plant biosecurity expertise for Australia.

“We’re committed to ensuring this initiative continues to deliver for our industries and environment,” he said.

“Detections of fall armyworm in northern Australia and repeated detections of brown marmorated stink bug at our borders are a reminder of the importance of biosecurity for our plant health.”

He said the biosecurity system relied on partnerships between state, territory and local governments, industry, environmental bodies, land managers and the broader community.

“Through the PBRI, we will ensure industry and government can continue to work collaboratively to support research efforts that benefit our plant health and biosecurity system as a whole.”

PBRI is a research initiative across a number of groups including the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Plant Health Australia and the seven plant research and development corporations.

For more information on PBRI, visit: https://www.pbri.com.au/about/