More than just bananas for NextGen group

By Shanara Veivers, DAF South Johnstone

Are you a grower striving to improve your business, looking to innovate and willing to share your experiences with like-minded growers?

If so, the NextGen banana growers’ group could provide you with the opportunity to share “out of the box” thinking to help foster innovation and influence the future of the Australian banana industry.

The NextGen banana growers’ initiative forms part of the National Banana Development and Extension Program. The QLD and NSW NextGen groups are not limited by age; they consist of growers who are proactive and innovative.

What does the NextGen group offer?

Many growers have benefited through being involved with the initiative, appreciating the opportunity to explore new experiences and learnings with their peers.

‘There’s always something that you take away. You’re never going home thinking it was a waste of my time. There’s always something you appreciate and the things you get to see and people you get to meet. You get to share your experiences with each other. We’re not all the same age and haven’t been here for the same period of time. Some people have been in the industry longer than others, and you can take information away from that no matter who you are.’ – NextGen grower.

Guided by participating growers, the project facilitates 2-3 casual group meetings and a larger activity each calendar year to explore topics and areas of interest to them. The NextGen group provide a space for growers to build and strengthen relationships with other growers. NextGen promotes peer-to-peer learning and NextGen growers who participate in larger activities play an important role in sharing their learnings and experiences with the rest of the industry.

Larger activities have ranged from day trips to other growers’ properties, different agricultural enterprises, field walks, overnight trips, even multi-day interstate tours.

Shanara Veivers, leader of the NextGen initiative, has been getting in touch with current and new NextGen growers to determine what activities and areas of interest the group would like to explore in 2022.

If you, or a grower you know, are interested in being part of the QLD or NSW NextGen group, get in touch with Shanara on 0467 812 025 or shanara.