Our best farmers in award hunt
A MULTI-crop farmer who uses cutting-edge smartphone technology to adjust his irrigation schedule is one of four nominees in line for the Charlie Nastasi Horticultural Farmer of the Year Award being presented tonight.
Mareeba lime, pomelo and custard apple grower Jose Caamano has been manufacturing his own fertiliser blends and is starting to trial Japanese Radish to improve water retention.
The industry innovator heads a unique crop of Tablelands farmers who will vie for the region’s horticulture industry’s top honour.
Fruit growers Matthew Perkes, Elio Quinterie and Sam Collins are also in contention.
The Mareeba District Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association toiled over the merits of each nominee and their contribution to the region’s agriculture.
MDFVGA Preident Joe Moro said it would be difficult to pick a winner.
“Each nominee brings something unique to the local horticultural industry and should be congratulated for leading the way in their respective areas,” he said.
“We’ve had some outstanding nominees in the past and this year will be no different.”
Nominees are judged on leadership and innovation.
The annual awards continues the legacy of the late Mr Nastasi, who was the region’s largest mango producer and principal of Golden Drop Mango Winery.
The winner will be announced at the annual Mareeba District Fruit and Vegetable Industry dinner on Friday night. Other nominees include Matthew Perkes, Elio Quintieri and Sam Collins.