Sound biosecurity systems contribute to achieving resilient and sustainable agricultural and environmental systems, reducing the threat of introducing unwanted pests and diseases. Within Australia, the Grains Farm Biosecurity Program (GFBP) is a national initiative to assist in the development and implementation of improved biosecurity practice within Australia’s grain industry. Initiated in 2007, the extension focused program contributes to the grain industry’s risk mitigation activities, supports continued market access and promotes a partnership approach involving governments, industry and community.
The GFBP has appointed specialized State Grains Biosecurity Officers in the five key grain growing states of Australia. The program is funded by Grain Producers Australia through grower levies in partnership with state government agencies and Plant Health Australia.
Using a variety of community engagement strategies the GFBP has developed a wide range of tools to improve the management of, and preparedness for, biosecurity risks in the Australian grains industry at the farm and industry level, by highlighting risk pathways and activities throughout the supply chain and encouraging adoption of practices and strategies to mitigate risks.
Monitoring throughout the program indicate an increased awareness of biosecurity risks and voluntary adoption of biosecurity best practices throughout the sector. Key outcomes include the development of a range of practical resources including awareness material for researchers, growers and extension specialists, farm level recommendations to identify and mitigate biosecurity risks, and biosecurity training material. The GFPB also promotes formation of industry alliances and has established surveillance programs for high priority pests.
The GFBP is Australia’s flagship program for promoting farm biosecurity, with its success encouraging other industries to implement similar extension programs. The focus on biosecurity best practice through industry engagement has seen the GFBP contribute to safeguarding grains production and maintaining Australia’s grain export reputation.