Banana industry

The Australian Banana Growers Council are leading the industry to improve water quality on the Great Barrier Reef. Their Water Quality Strategy 2017-2020 outlines their plan of action over the next 4 years.

Achieving these changes requires farmers, industry organisations, government and researchers to work together to find the best ways of shifting production practices while ensuring that production and quality isn’t compromised.

The level of adoption of best practices is used as a measurement to track change within the industry. Best practices are those known to reduce sediment and nutrient outflows from farms.

In the year 2015-16, 60% of banana production land in the Wet Tropics was operating under best practice for sediment reduction and 63% for control of nutrient run-off.

Pollutant % Best Practice Adoption (area) by year
2013 Baseline 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2015-16 Hectares
Soil management to reduced sediments in waterways 45 53 57 60 7,522
Fertiliser regimes to reduce nutrients in waterways 42 52 56 63 7,861

The proportion of area under moderate to low risk (or best practice), moderate risk, and high risk  practices for each pollutant as reported annually since the 2013 baseline is shown in the table below.

Sediment/Soil Baseline 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16
Moderate-Low risk 44.70% 53.45% 57.36% 60.17%
Moderate risk 37.86% 29.40% 28.08% 25.48%
High risk 17.44% 17.15% 14.57% 14.34%
Nutrient/Fertiliser Baseline 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16
Moderate-Low risk 41.56% 52.30% 55.61% 62.65%
Moderate risk 50.07% 40.00% 37.33% 37.35%
High risk 8.37% 7.70% 7.06% 0.00%

The data from the last column (2015-16) from the table above is the most recent and is shown in the graph below.