New hand­book to help cit­rus grow­ers across Aus­tralia

Central and North Burnett Times - - THE FENCE POST -

CIT­RUS Aus­tralia has re­leased a new hand­book to help cit­rus grow­ers dur­ing the sea­son.

Author Steven Falivene, from the New South Wales DPI Cit­rus De­vel­op­ment Of­fice, said the book was to help en­sure fruit it picked in the best pos­si­ble man­ner to min­imise break­down and max­imise pack-outs and ex­port re­turns.

“We want to get grower and picker feed­back over the com­ing har­vest sea­son so we can im­prove the guide and then fi­nalise it in late spring 2016 so it can be printed by next sea­son,” Mr Falivene said.

A video ver­sion of se­lected parts of the book­let will also be shot this sea­son.

Mr Falivene said he thanked the many grow­ers, pick­ers and pack­ers that have con­trib­uted their ideas for the book­let.

“The book­let has been pro­duced not only to help turn out top qual­ity ex­port fruit, but to also help pick­ers have a good ex­pe­ri­ence, through faster pick­ing tips, and con­tinue pick­ing in the long term,” he said.

Mr Falivene said he is con­tin­u­ing in­ter­view­ing grow­ers and pick­ers and al­ready has new con­tent to put in the next ver­sion of the book.

A PDF copy of the guide is avail­able from all pack­ers.

Pend­ing fund­ing, Mr Falivene said he planed to pro­duce the book­let in a num­ber of tar­geted Asian, Euro­pean and Pa­cific Is­land lan­guages and also pre­pare a com­plete video se­ries in tar­geted lan­guages.

“Many grow­ers have the lan­guage bar­rier prob­lem for both su­per­vi­sors and pick­ers,” he said.

“Grow­ers do not know if the su­per­vi­sor has prop­erly un­der­stood in­struc­tions and un­sure if they have in­structed their pick­ers cor­rectly.”

Mr Falivene said he also pro­posed to col­lab­o­rate with NSWDPI To­cal Col­lege to also de­velop an on­line pick­ing course.

“This will en­sure pick­ers will have the ap­pro­pri­ate foundation skills to pick the crop,” Mr Falivene said.

“The Aus­tralian cit­rus ex­port in­dus­try is based on grow­ing high qual­ity safe fruit and pro­fes­sion­al­ism in pro­duc­tion un­der­pins this per­cep­tion.

“The har­vest guide and pro­posed video and train­ing mod­ule to be de­vel­oped by NSWDPI will pro­vide step­ping stones for the cit­rus in­dus­try to climb the lad­der of qual­ity.”

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