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.
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.
Assessing crop suitability
Research to determine the suitability of horticulture crops for production in the Balonne and Border Rivers district.
Building capacity in the value chain
Information about engagement activities with irrigators and solutions to overcome barriers to expansion.
Developing new markets
Identifying and developing new markets for horticultural products from the QMDB (i.e. both domestic and export).
Analysing new value chains
The storage, processing, transport and logistics requirements needed for new domestic and export chains.
Co-investment funding scheme
Information about the projects funded as part of the Murray-Daring Basin Co-investment funding scheme.