Canberra company receives grant to map pests and weeds for smarter farming


A Canberra based company, Plant Health Australia (PHA), has been awarded funding by the Federal Government to develop a national surveillance system for weeds and plant pests, an initiative that will help farmers across Australia to reduce farm costs, increase productivity and achieve greater returns at the farm gate.

PHA, a not-for-profit company based in Deakin, received funding for the project, along with 30 other organisations as part of the Australian Government’s $21.2 million Landcare Innovation Grants.

Senator Zed Seselja said he was pleased that Minister Joyce had approved funding for local projects that will help farmers across Australia achieve better results.

“These grants have been awarded to a range of industry and research organisations, it’s all about developing ways to reduce input costs and generate better returns at the farm gate, while making sure our natural resources are here to support future generations,” Senator Seselja said today.

“I’m excited to see that the grants have been awarded to local projects and will see farmers across the country gaining access to more resources and research to help them improve their management, profitability and sustainability.

PHA Executive Director and CEO, Greg Fraser, said improving surveillance for pests and weeds will assist agriculture in Australia by building a map of infested areas that can be monitored for change over time.

“The project is building a virtual coordination centre so that interested parties from across the country, be they farmers, consultants, governments, researchers or community groups, can contribute to and access databases on pests and weeds that affect crops and the environment.

“Currently data collection is patchy and not coordinated nationally. This project will give us a valuable standardised database including the data from the considerable amount of pest and weed detection that occurs in the community,” Mr Fraser concluded.

“I look forward to seeing the results of PHA’s project and have confidence that the practical knowledge and research gained from the new projects will help all farmers in Australia,” Senator Seselja concluded.

A full list of projects is available at: www.daff.gov.au