The Andrews Labor Government will establish an experimental orchard in Mildura to boost almond research and training and drive production and export growth.
The new 25-hectare research facility will support the growing almond production of river communities in Victoria, South Australia and NSW.
Additional scientists will be engaged to expand research and development into disease management, food safety, water efficient production systems and increased quality and volumes.
Research at the Mildura facility will focus on enhancing the quality of almond crops, while also helping to minimise pest and disease damage and meeting export food safety standards.
The new National Almond Centre of Excellence to be developed at Loxton, SA, in partnership with the University of Adelaide will complement Mildura's new facility, and a new collaborative national program for almond research has been launched.
Almonds are now Australia’s fastest growing horticulture export, with the national crop expected to reach a farm-gate value in excess of $700 million in 2015.
Almonds were Victoria’s highest value horticulture export in 2013–14, valued at $366 million, up from $137 million the previous year, with export volumes nearly doubling.