Australia government announces aid for flooded Queensland growers
Australia’s Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has established a fund of up to 25,000 Australian dollars for growers and small businesses affected by flooding in Queensland, according to a statement.
Flooding hit the area after days of torrencial rains in late December. Exports have slowed as the heavy rain and floods have compromised the quality of fruit, such as mangoes, rockmelons, bananas, lychees and grapes, as well as vegetables such as tomatoes and sweet potatoes. Growers have also been unable to deliver crops to local markets or packing plants.
The news was welcomed by Queensland horticulture association Growcom, but the organization called for wider assistance from the government due to the severity of the situation, and said that the damage will take time to undue.
“Clearly the horticulture industry and the communities it supports will require long term assistance to be able to rebuild,” Growcom CEO Alex Lingstone said in a statement.
Growcom said that besides tropical fruit, citrus and table grapes are also suffering heavy damage as well.