Biosecurity education goes multilingual

Non-English speaking fruit and vegetable growers from northern Australia will now be better prepared for biosecurity risks thanks to a $235,400 partnership with the Northern Territory Farmers’ Association.

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister, Murray Watt, said the multilingual program would improve awareness and early detection of pest and disease risks among growers across northern Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland.

“Keeping Australia’s food and fibre industries protected from biosecurity risks is one of my key priorities as Minister,” Minister Watt said.

“We are helping to reduce the likelihood of disruption to Australia’s agricultural exports by improving important biosecurity information in growers’ first language.

“The program will deliver culturally appropriate information and education to help build growers’ on-farm biosecurity knowledge and the adoption of best practices across northern Australia.”

The new resources will include videos, articles, blogs, booklets, and websites.

They will be produced in Vietnamese and Cambodian for fruit and vegetable growers located in the peri-urban Darwin area in the Northern Territory; the Burdekin and Gordonvale areas in North and Far North Queensland; and the Carnarvon region in Western Australia.

A biosecurity engagement officer has also been employed to visit the regions and engage growers directly at their farms and at popular fruit and vegetable markets.

Minister Watt said the program is part of the Federal Government’s $11.149 million commitment to enhance biosecurity outcomes in northern Australia under the Northern Australian Biosecurity Strategy.

“Northern Australian vegetable, tropical fruit and mango growers are from a diverse group of nationalities, with many from the South-East Asian region,” Minister Watt said.

“Due to on-going engagement and collaboration, this grower group are strong advocates for enhanced biosecurity outcomes in northern Australia.

“We want to do all we can to ensure these growers are supported in the important role that they, and every producer plays in maintaining Australia’s enviable biosecurity status.”

NT Farmers’ Association is strategically aligned with a range of peak grower organisations and has capacity to tailor educational and promotional activities to the unique needs of producers in the northern Australia.

CEO of the NT Farmers’ Association, Paul Burke, said his organisation was excited to continue the important work of engaging with non-English speaking growers to enhance biosecurity outcomes on the ground.

“This work has been made possible through a strong and shared vision between the Federal Government, the Northern Territory Government and industry across the breadth of northern Australia.”

Mr Burke said projects such as this are only possible when all key stakeholders work together to improve outcomes on the ground.
“The relationships built over time and the willingness to work together has made this project the success it has become,” he said.

Images: here

File name: Grower Engagement NT Farmers Assoc 1 & 2
Caption: Northern Territory Farmers’ Association’s biosecurity engagement officer Tisha Tejaya visiting a property in the Darwin region.

File name: Grower Engagement NT Farmers Assoc 3
Caption: Greg Owens from the NT Farmers’ Association and Nigel Young from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry at a vegetable farm in Gordonvale, Queensland.

Photos credit: Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.