17 April 2020
Many Australians are choosing this time at home to get into the garden and even start their own veggie patch. While Australia’s farmers have our food security covered, gardening is a great at-home activity during the pandemic. It’s important, however, that home-gardeners control pests and diseases to protect Australian farming.
Chief Executive Officer of the national peak industry organisation for the plant science sector, Mr Matthew Cossey, said, “It’s great to see many people choosing to start growing some produce at home. For anyone embarking on this pursuit, they must practice responsible pest and disease management.
“This is especially important for any home-gardeners near farms. Untreated pests, weeds and diseases could have disastrous impacts if they spread and threaten commercial farming operations.
“Australia’s food production system is so strong that three quarters of what is produced by our farmers is above our needs and able to be exported – so home gardening is about the joy of it, not necessity.
“In enjoying this pastime, home-gardeners should equip themselves with appropriate pest management tools and consult their local garden centre for the best advice on what to use for different produce.
“Many will think that their small veggie patch couldn’t cause a widescale issue, but pests will be attracted to them and, if left unchecked, can pose a serious threat to commercial farming. We’ve seen this happen before – pests and disease spread quickly.”
Mr Cossey concluded, “Australia’s agriculture industry is going to play a huge part in getting all Australians through this pandemic and it’s important we all support the great efforts of the nation’s farmers.”