Are you a potato, mango or citrus grower who would like to make more money from second grade produce? If so, you may want to get involved with a new study run through the West Midlands Group’s Northern Valleys Agribusiness (NVA) project.
When supermarkets buy fruit and vegetables they grade produce according to size, shape, colour and blemishes. If the produce does not meet required specifications it is dubbed second grade and is worth less. The value of second grade fruit and vegetables often does not cover the cost of production and can have a significant impact on grower’s profit margins.
NVA project manager Carolina Brander said to better support growers in the Shires of Chittering, Gingin and Dandaragan, the NVA project had engaged Curtin University to conduct an analysis of solutions and opportunities for second grade horticultural products and on-farm waste management. Curtin University masters student Daniel Bishop – who will be supervised by Associate Professor Michele Rosano – will lead the Regional Development and Industrial Symbiosis Research project.
The research project will review second grade horticultural products and their higher value options for sale or market development, examine current agricultural waste management practices and potential alternative solutions and business opportunities.
Mr Bishop will be searching for examples of best practice in agricultural symbiosis activity, which adds value to products or services and maximises output whilst minimising wastes. He is currently contacting growers to gather information about their current production situation, opinions and needs. This information will aid in the development of potential solutions and opportunities.
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