An agriscience research hub was officially opened in Queensland on 16 December.
The AU$6.5 million Mareeba Agriscience Hub will be one of Queensland’s leading agriscience research, training and service centres for primary industries.
The hub will house 29 staff from the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation and the Australian Agricultural College Corporation, with expertise in entomology, biosecurity, plant breeding, plant pathology, molecular biology and soil and water ecology.
Work to be carried out at the new laboratory includes: developing new forest industries through breeding and selection of trees; supporting peanut and maize breeding programmes; diagnostic support for Biosecurity Queensland; developing new varieties of mango and papaya; improving flowering and yield of lychees; and reducing the environmental impact of papaya farming practices.
“North Queensland could potentially become the nation’s agribusiness powerhouse due largely to water availability and security, and tropical innovation prospects. The opening of the hub today brings that potential one step closer,” said Tim Mulherin, Queensland’s agriculture minister.