Victoria's horticulture industry is worth $1.9 billion and comprises more than 8,500 individual farm businesses. In 2012-13, the industry's exports grew 27 per cent to reach a value of $563 million. Hong Kong and New Zealand were Victoria's largest markets for horticulture exports, valued at $94 million and $60 million respectively.
The Victorian horticulture industry is at a critical turning point as it moves to target high-value domestic markets and specific new markets in Asia, while facing strong international competition, significant volatility in the production environment and high labour costs. The industry must act now to help secure its future in the face of those challenges which will markedly change the shape of the industry over the next decade. Of particular importance to Victoria are the pome, stone, almond and wine industries, where there is stronger export potential and where Victoria is a dominant contributor to Australian production.
How we work
Agriculture Research is enabling the pome, stone, almond and wine industries to improve profitability, productivity and market access while reducing risks to the environment. The focus of Agriculture Research is on understanding how management inputs and environmental factors influence productivity and product composition. This is important because these factors are drivers of product quality and value, and ultimately, profitability.
Core areas of research include delivering farm technologies and management protocols that improve profitability, productivity and sustainability; and enhancing product quality and innovation which will stimulate domestic and export demand. Agriculture Research scientists foster long-term collaborations with Horticulture Australia Limited and other peak industry bodies, including Summer Fruit Australia, the Almond Board of Australia and Apple and Pear Australia. Their work is linked to national programs through the National Strategy for horticulture, in which it has taken the lead for stone fruit, pome fruit and almonds. They also provide support for grape and wine industry research.
The following links provide research projects summaries in horticulture research: