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Working to grow together: Horizontal collaboration for horticulture production in Queensland
conference contributionposted on 27.03.2020, 00:00 by Delwar Akbar, Azad Rahman, John Rolfe, Susan Kinnear, Peggy Schrobback, Surya Bhattarai
The horticulture sector in Queensland is highly diverse, producing tropical fruits, many varieties of vegetables, cucurbits and nuts. There is potential to expand horticulture production with more land and water becoming available. However, domestic demand for many horticulture products is currently saturated in peak seasons, leading to lower farmgate prices. Therefore, exporting high value horticulture produce (HVHP) to Asian destinations may offer market diversification for future growth of horticulture industries in Queensland. Currently staggering of supply of horticultural products is achieved as crops are not simultaneously grown across wide geographic regions due to the variations in weather, water availability and soil condition. For instance, farmers harvest mangoes in the far-north Queensland during August-October while Southeast Queensland’s farmers harvest their mangoes between January and April each year. This study aimed to examine the potential for greater cross-regional collaboration between farmers (i.e., horizontal collaboration) to ensure a continuous and consistent supply chain of large volume of horticulture products over six- to eight-month annual window. This study particularly focused on a case study of mango production using a qualitative approach consisting of a stakeholder workshop supported by literature review and face to face scoping interviews. While some discrete collaborations among mango farmers are occurring in some regions of Queensland, a cross-regional supply chain collaboration supported by both the industry and other supply chain stakeholders would improve returns to mango producers in the short to medium term.