Sustainable and equitable horticulture

Dirt road in the middle of a banana farm.

High-value horticulture is booming in Australia’s north-eastern coastal strip, where a multifunctional landscape also provides various recreational, cultural and environmental services. This project is aiming for a sustainable and equitable future for rural regions and livelihoods within Australia.

Dr Zoe Wang

“Australia’s fast-growing horticulture industry is a $16.3 billion industry. This high-visibility project contributes to a sustainable and equitable development of agricultural economy, with long-term benefits for regional employment and livelihoods. Within our team, I lead the Cairns case study, Australia’s fourth largest agricultural producing region. Our research will support the region’s ecological quality and the economic development.”

Profile picture of Dr Zoe Wang.

The project team are going to look at how the incorporation within agricultural global production networks interacts with diverse drivers of landscape change in the horticulture industry in Australia's north-east coastal strip. In particular, Dr Wang will be looking at the contested regional politics of:

  1. land and development
  2. sustaining labour and livelihoods;
  3. effective natural resource management and environmental governance

This project will contribute to global production network theory by developing the territorial nexus of these networks. Expected outcomes include improved policy formulations capable of orchestrating a sustainable and equitable future for rural regions and livelihoods within Australia, with broader contributions to understanding rural development pathways elsewhere in the world.

Operating for a 3-year period, the project has been funded a total of $561,272 under the Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Projects 2023 Round 1 .

ARC Logo.

Other members of the project team are: Associate Professor Jeffrey Neilson (University of Sydney); Professor William Pritchard (University of Sydney); Dr Rebecca Cross (University of Sydney); Professor Neil Coe (University of Sydney); Dr Kiah Smith (University of Queensland)

Contact details

Dr Zoe Wang

Lecturer, Development Studies, Environment and Development



Earth & Environmental Science - James Cook University

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