Growers’ e-bulletin – May 25, 2021


May 25, 2021


That’s a wrap! Congress 2021
FNQ Field Days
Future management of Panama TR4
Banana R&D and marketing investment
Nuffield Scholarships open
Funding announcements
QLD loan scheme extension
Health warning for QLD growers


That’s a wrap! Congress 2021

Thank you to everyone who attended our hugely successful Congress in Cairns from May 12-14. An amazing 470 growers and industry stakeholders took part in the event, featuring two days of top-notch speakers and a range of social events.

A special mention to our Awards of Honour recipients Peter and Franziska Inderbitzin, Dennis Howe and Jeff Daniells, and to the inaugural winner of the Future Farming Award, Gavin Devaney.  

Keep an eye on the ABGC’s Facebook page over coming weeks for plenty of videos and social pictures from the event!

A huge thank you, once again, to all those who made this Congress possible, including attendees, exhibitors and, of course, the Banana Congress sponsors.

Finally, a shout out to our 2021 Congress Program Committee, who gave up their time to help create the fantastic line-up of speakers and events: Paul Inderbitzin (Congress Chair), Sonia Campbell (Congress Co-Ordinator), Doriana Mangili, Jade Buchanan, Josephine Borsato, Jenny Crema, Tate Connolly, Shanara Veivers, Rosie Godwin, Leanne Erakovic and Amy Spear.


FNQ Field Days – book your tickets

If you’re heading along to the Mareeba Field Days (kicking off tomorrow!), make sure you say hi to the Banana BMP team.

You can purchase your ticket ahead of time by clicking the image below.


Have your say on the future management of Panama TR4

Since Queensland’s first detection of Panama TR4 in March 2015, the Panama TR4 Program has worked closely with the ABGC to control and contain the disease. 

The Queensland Government has invested almost $42 million in the fight against Panama TR4 to June 2023, beyond which time industry will take leadership of the TR4 Program.

Through the ABGC, industry has been co-funding the Panama TR4 Program since 2019, and in 2020 a Program Management Board was established to jointly fund, deliver and govern the strategic direction of the Program. Click here to read more about the Program and how it currently delivers disease control and containment.

In a presentation at Congress earlier this month, ABGC CEO Jim Pekin put forth an invitation to growers to have their say on the future management of Panama TR4.

“Beyond 2023, what the Panama TR4 Program looks like will depend on what industry wants, what is achievable within budget, and where the disease has spread to by that stage,” Jim said.

An Industry Transition Leader, Geoff Wilson, has been appointed by the ABGC to work with growers and the TR4 Program on planning for future management of the disease.  In doing so, Geoff is seeking input to understand where the focus areas should be within this framework.

All growers are encouraged to have their say by contacting Geoff or filling out an online feedback form. Geoff can be reached on 0418 644 068 or


Feedback sought: banana R&D and Marketing investment

Hort Innovation is seeking feedback on their draft Banana Strategic Investment Plan (SIP), covering 2022-2026.

This document, developed with input from various industry representatives, is essentially a roadmap to guide oversight and management of industry investment in R&D and Marketing over the five-year-period. These investments are funded by the banana levy, and matched by Government funding. The document will be available for comment until June 4.

·      View the draft Banana SIP here

·      Fill out the online feedback form here (scroll down)

·      Provide feedback directly to the Industry Strategic Partner (Georgia Shiel) via 0487 362 717 or send an email  

Please note, this is a separate document to the ABGC’s banana industry strategic investment plan, which is currently being developed and due for release later this year.


2022 Nuffield Scholarships now open

Nuffield offers a level of access like no other scholarship program with an approachable, global network. See leading and innovative businesses, identify new best practices and ideas.

Forge connections with the global alumni network – 485 Scholars in Australia and 1,800 worldwide.

Scholars receive a $30,000 bursary for a 14-week program, so apply today: 


Funding announcements

Future Drought Fund investments

Two ‘Future Drought Fund’ programs aim to help primary producers build resilience to future droughts. The $9.85m Regional Drought Resilience Planning program supports partnerships of regional organisations, councils, communities and farmers to develop suitable pans. In addition, a $16m Farm Business Resilience program will give farmers access to subsidised learning and development opportunities. More information:

On-farm Emergency Water infrastructure

The Queensland Government has signed on to the expanded On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure scheme joining NSW, Victoria, South Australia and the NT.

The rebate scheme aims to deliver practical support for farmers to complete critical on-farm water infrastructure projects to maintain a sustainable and reliable water supply into the future. For more information, visit this link and click on your relevant state.


QLD $20m loan scheme extension

 The Queensland Government has committed another $20m in funding for low-interest productivity loans for primary producers. The loans are administered through the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority, with the scheme providing First Start Loans of up to $2m and Sustainability Loans of up to $1.3m. For more information visit or call 1800 623 946.


Health warning for QLD banana growers

Queensland has experienced a rise in the number of cases of the bacterial disease leptospirosis.

Agricultural workers, including those working with animals or on cane and banana farms, are considered to be high risk. The bacteria causing this disease is found in the urine of infected animals including rats, mice, cattle pigs and dogs. People who camp, garden, bushwalk or participate in water sports can also be at risk.

Symptoms of leptospirosis may include fever, severe headache, muscle aches, chills, vomiting, and red eyes, and usually develop after five to 14 days following infection. If detected early, it can be easily treated, but risks increase the longer it is left untreated. For more information, and tips on how to protect yourself, visit this link.



Contact Details
It is important that ABGC is advised if you know of growers who are not receiving these e-bulletins or the Australian Banana magazine. We may have out of date email or postal addresses for these growers. Please email any updated contact details to:

Also, it is important for membership purposes that growers advise ABGC if they change trading name or their agent (wholesaler) or add one, and also to let their agent know.