Sharing the science of bananas

Researchers and scientific minds from across the country convened in Cairns recently to discuss the latest in banana industry research and development.

The Banana Scientific Symposium was a chance for presenters and other participants to share ideas, network and deliver up-to-date information on current projects and research activities, as well as future R&D trials.

Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC) Research and Development Manager Rosie Godwin, was among the more than 50 attendees, which also included delegates from government, universities and industry.

“The symposium was a great way to stimulate ideas, encourage collaboration, and learn about the breadth of research being conducted by researchers for the banana industry,” Dr Godwin said.

“It is important our researchers take advantage of collective ideas, avoid duplication of effort, and are stimulated to solve industry challenges.”

Organised by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), the program included updates on a range of topics including Panama TR4, soil characteristics, banana varieties and diagnostics.

“There were three things we wanted to achieve out of the symposium,” DAF Team Leader, Banana Production Systems, Stewart Lindsay said. “It was about improving networks and linkages between researchers; fostering improved collaboration on current and future research; and essentially to provide a forum for an exchange of ideas in research and development.”

“We’ve had people presenting their science, we’ve had networking activities, and hypothetical scenarios to make people think about how they would collaborate and respond, if a new situation in the banana industry arose. It’s about building a more cohesive R&D team that supports the industry.”

Almost 30 scientists delivered presentations at the Symposium, including representatives from Queensland DAF, NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), NT Department of Primary Industries and Resources (DPI&R), ABGC and  University of Queensland (UQ).

“We’ve got people here, who in the normal course of their work don’t actually normally meet, but who all work in bananas. So, they have really enjoyed the opportunity to be brought into the same room to share their ideas,” Mr Lindsay said.

Delegates who attended the recent Banana Scientific Symposium in Cairns.

Delegates who attended the recent Banana Scientific Symposium in Cairns.