EXPLORING new markets is one aspect to a new strategy to guide the future of the protected cropping industry.
In November, the federal government released the Australian Protected Cropping Strategy 2021-2030.
The term "protected cropping" refers to crops grown within or under a structure, meaning crops can be grown with protection from the elements.
The sector is a large producer of vegetables, berries, nursery plants, flowers, herbs and fruit trees, worth about $1.5 billion.
Federal agriculture minister David Littleproud said the strategy will look to increase knowledge and the capacity of industry to adopt and take advantage of protected cropping systems.
"With these systems we can look at developing new markets, both domestically and internationally," Mr Littleproud said.
"There is huge potential for protected cropping, and I'm really excited for what the next decade could bring."
Hort Innovation Australia and Protected Cropping Australia will lead the implementation of the strategy.
Hort Innovation chief executive officer Matt Brand said protected cropping-based horticultural production is tipped to grow considerably.
"Because protected cropping provides control over growing conditions, a dedicated strategy is vital," Mr Brand said.
"From high-tech glass houses to basic covers and nets, protected cropping is becoming a popular choice for Australian horticulture.
"With input from industry, this strategy provides an important roadmap to drive innovation and competitiveness in the horticulture sector."
Meanwhile, Greg Fraser has been appointed the new chief executive officer of Protected Cropping Australia.
In a statement, the PCA board said it was looking forward to working with Mr Fraser to further advance its mission of adding value to members by promoting and supporting all forms and aspects of protected cropping and advanced technological growing systems in Australian horticulture.
Mr Fraser was most recently the executive director and CEO of Plant Health Australia and has a background in Australian agriculture, having worked in tropical and temperate horticulture, broadacre agriculture, sugarcane, cotton, and forestry industries.
Matthew Plunkett took over the role of PCA chair from Nicky Mann in November 2021.
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