BARENGI Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Corporation has received $24,000 from the state government to develop a new horticulture research project.
The land council is one of only six Victorian groups to receive funding through the latest round of the state government’s horticulture innovation fund.
The land council’s chief executive Michael Stewart said the group was thrilled to receive the funding.
“It will be a collaborative research project to investigate the pollination habits of native bees, based out of Wail Nursery,” he said.
“We’ll also look at the habitat requirements for native bees.
“If there is a problem with European bees in the future, this project will help us understand how native bees support the ecosystem; it will allow us to prepare for the future.
“We hope the outcomes of the project will also support native food industry development.”
Mr Stewart said he was looking forward to seeing the outcomes of the project.
“It will be cool to see what native pollination is around and how the native bees function in the region,” he said.
“This is the first step for future projects that we hope to partake in with agricultural groups.”
The horticulture innovation fund provides agriculture groups with grants up to $50,000 to help adapt new technologies, boost production and broaden the diversity of products sold overseas.
Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford said the grants were essential in developing and expanding Victoria’s agriculture industry.
“Victoria’s horticulture industry is worth $2.4 billion a year, underpinned by a world-class reputation for providing premium quality, safe and clean products,” she said.
“Through our Horticulture Innovation Fund we’re providing targeted support to this important sector, so we can help boost exports and drive long-term economic growth.”
“This is great news for our horticulture sector and will boost production as well as our surging horticulture exports.”
Mr Stewart said he hoped the project would start in the next few weeks.