Community urged to help combat fruit fly

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Queensland fruit fly awareness campaign
Queensland Fruit Fly is a pest the community can help control.

Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers are coordinating a community fruit fly awareness program to inform the public about the pest and its impact.

What do you know about Queensland Fruit Fly? Can you identify one?

These are some of the questions are being asked.

From hanging fruit fly traps in your back yard trees to picking up fallen fruit and even removing unwanted host plants and replacing them with a free non-host variety, growers encourage everyone to play a part.

People can register interest to learn more about the program by emailing BFVG at [email protected].

Interested people can also visit the Facebook page.

Last year the State Government announced a community-based approach to managing fruit fly would be piloted in the Bundaberg Region.

Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said the trial’s aim was to reduce the impacts of fruit fly on horticulture productivity in the Bundaberg Region.

“While there is ongoing fruit fly research focused on producers, this additional and innovative targeted commitment will specifically focus on educating the urban community about how they can play a part in keeping this endemic pest in check,” Mr Furner said.

“When unchecked, fruit fly infestations have a serious impact on harvestable fruit and vegetable crops and are detrimental to export efforts. Interstate projects have shown that urban communities play a key role in helping monitor fruit fly numbers and providing an early alert to producers.

“This trial isn’t where our partnership with BFVG ends, the Government will also provide up to $200,000 to conduct a pilot trial in regional agriculture data collection in the region.

“BFVG raised this issue during stakeholder meetings highlighting the need for additional agricultural data that wasn’t being captured in existing reports.

“By delivering greater accuracy for the local sector this will allow looking producers to obtain investment and open new opportunities both at the state, national and overseas levels.”

Fruit fly a barrier to market access

BFVG managing director Bree Grima said Queensland Fruit Fly was the single biggest barrier to many producers in the Wide Bay Region accessing additional market opportunities.

“While many funded programs have focused on grower engagement, this program is innovative in its approach by connecting with the urban environment,” Ms Grima said.

“The community can play a vital role in assisting our producers to manage the impacts of fruit fly and this program will connect the consumers with the producers to help close that loop.”