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FW: MINISTER LITTLEPROUD MEDIA RELEASE: $16.9 million for smart fruit fly management

• Package to deliver high-tech fruit-fly management across Australia

• New technology to give growers advanced warnings of Queensland Fruit Fly movements

• Smart traps to be trialed giving growers instant alerts of fruit-fly detections

Australian fruit and vegetable growers will be given a new edge in the fight against fruit fly, with new high-tech systems giving early warnings of fly movements.

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said a $16.9 million dollar package would assure our trading partners when produce comes from a fruit-fly free area.

"Fruit fly outbreaks cost the horticultural industry millions every year,” Minister Littleproud said.

“If we take control of fruit fly we’ll get access to more premium markets and boost farm gate prices.

“We’ve started a trial of smart-traps that’ll send farmers instant alerts if fruit fly is detected.

“Sensors detect fruit flies in the trap by the way they move and send mobile alerts to growers.

“This can provide farmers the best possible information so they can respond to an outbreak quicker.

“We’re also investing in a national mapping program, to track the movement of QFly in summer.

“The flies make their way south as it warms up and this will let growers know where they are and help us target where to release our sterile fruit flies.
“We’re putting extension officers on the ground to help growers use the latest science.

“They’ll help farmers work through the latest R&D and put it to work in their orchards.

“This package will help protect our $18 billion horticultural industry and reassure our trading partners of the systems we have in place.”

The program would go fly management such as Mediterranean fruit fly areas including in WA, NT and SA, and the native Queensland fruit fly on the East Coast.

Fast Facts:
• Australia’s horticultural production is valued at over $12 billion employing over 50,000 people.

• For the year ending June 2017, Australia exported $2.23 billion worth of horticultural products.

• Fruit flies cost producers in Australia hundreds of millions of dollars annually in control measures and production losses.