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Agriculture and Food – From Paddock to Plate Sustainably

Photo: http://www.nutrinana.com.au/awards.html

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Agriculture and Food – From Paddock to Plate Sustainably

Gaia banana farming: for healthy soils, wetlands and Great Barrier Reef

Gaia farms, QLD

Gaia farms, a family unit, is about producing bananas with the whole system in mind. Our mantra is to farm sustainably, by building soil health for healthier plants, less chemical inputs and more nutritious bananas, whilst maintaining commercial scale production. Since starting this banana farm near Silkwood 18 years ago we have been working to protect the creeks adjoining our farm and manage our farm runoff for the health of the Great Barrier Reef, only 10 km away. Our latest endeavour has been the construction of a 2.45 hectare wetland to capture and treat runoff from part of our farm and packing shed. The wetland has been a collaborative project, jointly funded by ourselves, Terrain NRM, through Reef Rescue and the Queensland Wetlands Program, with technical support from the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation and Growcom. Despite a setback after Cyclone Yasi, the wetland system is establishing well and has become a haven for wildlife and a focal point for the property.

Comments from Judges

The Judges found that Gaia Farms illustrated innovation, being the company driver in its commitment to its practices, its people, right through to its marketing. The reach of these farming innovations are recognised at both local and regional levels. This winner also provides a good potential solution to the current issue of chemical outflow affecting the Great Barrier Reef.