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Cost savings and value-adding for horticulture
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Sunraysia, Riverland and Riverina fruit growers have been shown practical ways to cut their production costs and diversify into new markets. Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Peter McGauran, who released the findings of three Government-funded studies in Mildura today, said they provided case studies detailing ways growers could value-add and share their costs with other producers. “Fruit growers in the Sunraysia, Riverland and Riverina districts have the potential to share machinery, irrigation equipment and labour with other local growers, cutting the costs individual farmers face,” Mr McGauran said. “Further savings can be made by growers jointly buying things such as fertiliser, chemicals and fuel. There is also significant potential for businesses to diversify and value-add to their fruit, vegetable and juice products.” Mr McGauran said the Government provided $500,000 for the studies to be undertaken. “The reports also contain templates to help growers improve the way they run their businesses. These have been trialled on Sunraysia, Riverina and Riverland growers in recent weeks and have been well received,” he said. The studies were initiated by Mildura Rural City Councillor, Eddie Warhurst, and Wentworth Shire Mayor, Margaret Thomson, and were undertaken by the Mildura Region Horticultural Taskforce, which is chaired by Mildura Mayor, John Arnold. The Taskforce includes representatives from the citrus, dried fruit, table grape and wine industries, State Governments, and the Commonwealth. Details of the projects, including templates and case studies can be accessed online at http://murraymurrumbidgee.com.au/index.shtml, or http://www.mildura.vic.gov.au.