For more than 200 years, Westpac Agribusiness has shared a rich history and association with rural, remote and regional communities of Australia. It is committed to sharing the journey with the industry and ensuring it is strongly supported and positioned for continued growth now and into the future.
2021 Scholarship winner
Joshua Maunder from Bellenden Ker, Queensland, receives a Nuffield Scholarship supported by Westpac Agribusiness. Through his research, Joshua will investigate how the agricultural sector can adapt to rapidly changing climatic conditions through more resilient production methods.
In addition to starting his own farm, Aus-Ex Fruit earlier this year, Joshua is the projects and compliance officer at family farming operation, Zappala Tropicals, which produces a variety of Exotic Tropical fruits across 20 hectares in northern Australia.
As someone who has witnessed the impact of severe weather events on the horticultural sector, Joshua is particularly focused on exploring practical solutions to climatic challenges that will enhance resilience within farming operations.
“Changing climatic conditions is a global challenge that poses a significant risk to every agricultural sector and threatens the stability of the entire supply chain,” Joshua said.
“Through my Nuffield Scholarship, I plan to explore resilient production methods that can withstand the frequency and severity of weather events which are putting more pressure on an already volatile sector. This will include examining the potential use of engineered support structures, high-density production systems, robotics and climate-controlled greenhouses.
“To ensure future sustainability, it’s critical that the horticultural industry, particularly in Cyclone prone areas, shifts its practices to be more resilient in acknowledgement of changing climatic conditions.”
Joshua will study countries that are subject to extreme weather events and who are developing resilient production methods, including Japan, the United States, Taiwan, and the Philippines.
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