Western Australia Minister for Agriculture and Food Alannah MacTiernan
Native Flies Welcome On Food Crops
Victor P Taffa
- McGowan Government, Australian horticulture industry and researchers join forces to future-proof pollination for fruit and vegetable crops
- State Government to inject $836,000 to assess native fly pollinators
Research trials in Western Australia are looking at the potential for native flies to pollinate crops, as part of a national project to future-proof horticulture production.
“This is an exciting project looking for new insect pollinators to back up our honey bees.” Minister for Agriculture and Food Alannah MacTiernan said.
“Our research will target native fly species to see if they are effective pollinators for commercial crops, with the Western Australian trials targeting avocados and later expanding to berries.”
Pollination is vital to the success of many fruit and vegetable crops, with pollination-dependant crops in Australia worth almost $6 Billion per year.
While bees are the most widely-used and well-known pollinators for crops, a range of insects are natural crop pollinators.
McGowan Government is investing $836,000 towards the 5-year national research project examining the use of different insect pollinators to complement the use of bees.
Research is led by Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development scientists, with support from major funder Hort Innovation and in conjunction with a range of research partners.
2 species of native flies have this week been released into netted enclosures on an avocado orchard in the State’s South-West to coincide with flowering to examine the influence of flies on production.