High value horticulture value chains for the Queensland Murray-Darling Basin project

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is investigating and implementing new horticulture value chains in the Queensland Murray-Darling Basin (QMDB) to provide significant agricultural and economic benefits to local communities in Queensland’s south-west.

The High Value Horticulture Value Chains for the QMDB project aims to establish new, high value, profitable and resilient horticulture value chains in the QMDB.

The project is funded by the Australian Government under the Murray-Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Project .


Most irrigated cropping in the Balonne and Border Rivers districts of the QMDB are devoted to the production of cotton and grain crops (e.g. maize, wheat, soybean).  These crops are generally exported from the district as bulk commodities with little post farm gate value added by local communities.

However, there are some examples of crops including annual vegetables, and perennial fruits and nuts being grown within the region. These crops have the potential to generate:

  • higher value of production per unit of land area or per mega litre of water used
  • higher labour requirements
  • potential opportunities for local processing and product value adding.

The project addresses barriers to facilitate the development of new and expanded high value horticulture value chains, focussing on the Balonne and Border Rivers district.

See the map indicating the focus area for assessing crop suitability.

How does the project work?

The Murray-Darling Basin co-investment funding scheme project consists of 5 activities which contribute to the project’s overall goal.