Spicing up the future of R&D for the Australian ginger industry

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New technologies, market opportunities, high quality and sustainable product systems and industry engagement are the priorities for the Australian ginger industry for the next five years under the new AgriFutures Ginger Program research, development and extension (RD&E) Plan (2022-2027).

The Australian ginger industry is growing. Over the past seven years the gross value of production of the Australian ginger industry has steadily risen, with a $19 million spike in value during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a high-value crop and a high-quality product, the new RD&E Plan aims to ensure a continued premium for Australian ginger through focusing on improved productivity, profitability, and sustainability. 

Since 2010, the Australian ginger industry has operated with a statutory R&D levy making this their third RD&E plan. 

The new RD&E Plan was developed in consultation with ginger producers and industry stakeholders. Extensive industry engagement helped to identify key trends and drivers likely to affect the industry in the future and inform the priorities outlined in the new plan.  

AgriFutures Ginger Advisory Panel Chair, Jacqueline Wilson-Smith thanked the industry for their participation in consultation activities explaining that their input is crucial in shaping the future of the industry.   

“Over the past 18 months, the ginger industry has participated in surveys, scenario planning exercises and provided feedback on the draft plan”, Jacqueline explained.  

“Their participation has helped us to better understand the challenges, issues and opportunities for ginger growers and map a path forward to support a stronger and more resilient ginger industry in Australia,” said Jacqueline.  

The priorities for investment outlined in the new Plan are: 

  1. High-quality product and sustainable production systems
  2. Market opportunities
  3. Technology and innovation 
  4. Industry engagement. 

Research Manager of AgriFutures Ginger Program, Emma Rodham said that there was a strong response from industry during the consultation period, “and because of this, we now have a really good idea of the industry’s challenges and opportunities – as seen by the industry. “ 

“We were able to successfully identify priority areas to investigate over the next five years as a result of extensive consultation. The first priority looks at how we can create a high quality and sustainable production system through researching best management practices for ginger production.  

“Secondly, identifying where the market opportunities are to support the development of new and emerging markets, and innovative ways to use ginger, including understanding the health benefits of ginger.   

“We are also looking to new technologies. Things like big data solutions and improved tools, systems and strategies for the surveillance, prevention and management of pest, weed and disease threats as these are still some of the biggest challenges for the industry. We are also looking for innovations to reduce labour inputs for the industry.  

“Finally, continuing industry engagement was identified as an important priority which will support adaptive capacity and resilience of the Australian ginger industry”, said Emma. 

Jacqueline emphasised that the goal of the AgriFutures Ginger Program is to support a sustainable, growing and prosperous ginger industry by supplying product of the highest quality, that is strongly sought after by consumers in Australia and around the world.  

“I think we are on a great path for the ginger industry and through listening and connecting with ginger growers we can identify, recommend and accelerate projects that are going to make a real difference to the ginger industry,” said Jacqueline.   

Read the new AgriFutures Ginger RD&E Plan 2022-2027

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