The Extension Program for the Australian Potato Industry 2016-2019 commenced in July 2016 with two parallel Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA) funded projects with program management and operational support provided by Arris Pty Ltd from the Waite Campus, Adelaide and extension activity delivery led by HIA from Sydney.
- Extension Activity Development and Management (PT15002)
Arris Pty Ltd, Waite Campus, Adelaide
Extension Activity Delivery (PT16000)
Horticulture Innovation Australia
- Potato Industry Communications Program (PT15007)
Industry Driven, Relevant and Focused Extension Activities
All extension activities for the program will be generated out of needs identified by industry stakeholders. The project managers will always be seeking and pressuring industry stakeholders for inputs to the program to ensure the highest relevance and best possible outcomes.
Extension activities using the best matched extension methods will be delivered through an annual extension plan that recognizes the diverse nature of the Australian potato industry with activities across all industry sectors and regions. For all activities, the best available expertise and human resources will be used to deliver that activity to industry. The extension program will also create industry awareness of new and innovative practice changes arising from national and international R&D programs.
Arris as the project managers have developed a clear set of principles that will be applied in the implementation of this project.
Principles of Arris Development Project
Arris is committed to the development of Extension Activities that will be:
- Closely aligned with industry stakeholder needs through active industry consultation and endorsement of planned activities
- Part of a balanced program having over time with components of relevance to every industry sector and region
- Delivered by the most appropriate and experienced extension personnel and organisations available
- Creating an awareness of new and improved technologies or practices that could potentially benefit the Australian growers and industry
- Aware of the current R&D activities of relevance to the industry
- Building the capacity and capability of Australia extension service providers to better service the future needs of the Australian Potato Industry
Key Parts of Arris Development Project
- Facilitate the determination of industry extension priorities and topics of interest using timely and simple methods for industry liaison and interaction
- Develop and document the details around specific extension activities including selection of delivery organisations or personnel, locations and venues, determination of resources required, budgets, activity monitoring and evaluation
- Use the inputs and expertise of an industry focused Program Reference Group to assist the development of extension activities and to endorse proposed activities on behalf of industry.
- Plan and implement annual stakeholder forum to capture industry extension needs
- Facilitate annual literature review on topics of interest and ensure outcomes are available to industry
- Arrange for the visit of international experts that can contribute ideas and/or demonstrate improve practices for the benefit of the Australian industry
A stakeholder register has been established and will continue during the life of the project to capture industry inputs and ideas for activities for the extension program www.arris.com.au/potato-extension/stakeholders .
A second register has been setup for extension delivery personnel and organizations to register their interest in being involved in the delivery of activities www.arris.com.au/potato-extension/extension .
These registers will assist in project planning and implementation by defining resources, expertise, and industry profiles that could be used in the extension work throughout the program.
Adding Value to the Program
Industry forums will be held annually as a program development tool. Forums are intended to be a national single day event linked where possible with other industry relevant events to maximize attendance and minimize cost. Active pre-forum information delivery and post forum evaluation and surveying will be used to:
- Review past extension activities and R&D outcomes – revisiting and revitalizing valuable information
- Create an awareness of potentially new and innovative practices – what’s new in the world that might be good for us
- Provide input into the development of the annual extension – have a voice in getting help on what’s important to you
Simple Interactive Polling
It is intending that modern media tools like mobile phone polling be used throughout the project to reach out to the “grassroots” of the industry to obtain inputs on project activities and provide feedback on ideas and the value of activities undertaken in the project. These tools are designed to be quick to respond to and simple and easy to use to encourage high response rates from time poor stakeholders.
Project Reference Group
A Project Reference Group (PRG) has been established for the primary interface between the project management team and the industry stakeholders. They will be used to develop the annual extension plan and provide industry input on all other aspects of the project like literature reviews and international expert visits. The PRG has a majority membership drawn from the industry stakeholders and these have been selected to represent the broadest possible representation of both the industry sectors and production regions in Australia.
Keeping Abreast of the Global R&D
The need for the Australian potato industry to remain competitive in a global market is essential and requires the use of world’s best practice to ensure that high quality, high yielding crops are produced in the most cost-efficient manner. Annually the project will undertake a significant literature review on a range of topics of interest to the industry to capture the outcomes of local and international R&D programs and developments. This can be used as a guide for local extension activities and assist in identifying international experts that could be invited to make presentations to the Australian industry. At least one visit by an international expert per year is planned as part of the project. Both the literature reviews and visits by international experts will be critical in generating the awareness of new practices and technologies that will potentially benefit the Australian industry.
Linked Activity Delivery Project
The linked activity delivery project managed directly by HIA will contract extension service providers on an activity by activity basis to undertake extension activities developed under the Arris management project.
Service provider contracts will include:
- Locations and venues for activity
- Extension personnel for on-ground delivery of activity
- Activity program details
- Delivery schedule
- Delivery budget and payment schedule
- Activity reporting
- Components of activity monitoring and evaluation
Extension Activity Development and Delivery Overview