NSW DPI opens doors to Central Coast Harvest Festival

11 Jun 2021

an aeriel view of the NSW DPI's Central Coast Primary Industries Centre

NSW Department of Primary Industries is a proud partner of the Central Coast Harvest Festival 2021, with visitors given the opportunity to visit the Somersby Field Station on 12 and 13 June.

NSW DPI’s Institute Director on Central Coast Dr SP Singh said the Somersby Field Station is a scenic sight with citrus orchards, green tea planation and vast pastures maintained by the department for research purposes.

“The Station has a long history of over 100 years of delivering world-class R&D services to the horticulture industries on the central coast, nationally and internationally,” Dr Singh said.

“Visitors will get a glimpse of the historical perspective of the institute and the contributions made to the industries, communities and the environment.

“We have been waiting for an opportunity for community engagement and open the gates of our research station to raise the general public awareness about the role DPI’s Central Coast research and compliance teams play in food production, community services and environmental protection.

“What a wonderful way to celebrate the International Year of Fruit and Vegetables."

Dr Singh said horticulture researchers will be engaging with the visitors sharing the success stories of intensive crop production and sustainable resource use in the horticulture sector. The role of research at our station in underpinning the export success of Australian horticulture industries will be highlighted.

“Visitors will interact with the DPI team to learn about food safety practices. We will also showcase the R&D that undergoes in the background to provide communities safe food for consumption,” he said.

“A great opportunity for biosecurity research and compliance teams to demonstrate to visitors how they could spread pests and diseases by movement from farm to farm. Visitors can try foot baths for sanitisation and learn procedures to sanitise vehicle wheels.

“To raise awareness of these pests and other exotic pests and diseases in their home gardens and backyards, visitors will see some live samples of key pests such as Queensland fruit fly and infested fruit samples.”

Information will also be available on a range of courses and resources on offer to help manage land and natural areas through NSW DPI Tocal College.

Fisheries compliance and education teams will be sharing with visitors resources developed for responsible recreational fishing and other topics such as fishing rules, and safety.

The staff from NSW Local Land Services have also been invited to the research station and join the forces in community engagement.

Visit the festival website for more information.

The Harvest Festival program is designed for attendees to follow an event trail that encourages visitation at multiple local farms, food hubs, family activities and event hubs. The event will show off the beautiful hinterland areas and promote the Coast as a supplier of quality produce.

High resolution image available on request.

Media contact: (02) 6391 3686