How a pesticide has turned a rural community’s farmers into a global powerhouse

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By Tom Heneghan | Updated February 20, 2020 04:56:08A farmer’s business has become a global force thanks to the growth of a pesticide that has transformed his rural community into a food processing hub.

The use of glyphosate, a common herbicide, has allowed some farmers to produce more food and grow their businesses, as the pesticide is more resistant to the herbicides used in farming.

But it has also helped boost the fortunes of the more than 10,000 farmers across the country who rely on glyphosate.

And the success of a local farmer has helped pave the way for the emergence of global corporations, who use glyphosate as a pesticide and reap huge returns from its sale.

“You see the same phenomenon with the agricultural sector, the farmers who have grown crops using glyphosate, that has allowed them to generate more income than the farmers before them,” Dr. Andrew Sager, professor of plant biology at the University of Queensland, told ABC Radio National.

“There’s a lot of people who have benefited from that.”

The farmer who was awarded the prize for the best farmer in Australia was Steve Breen.

The 61-year-old farmer from the Queensland town of Dandenong in southern Queensland was one of a number of farmers to be awarded the award.

He was a key member of a group of farmers who were awarded the $1 million prize for best producer, alongside farmers who grow crops with the chemical.

He told ABC Rural he was very happy about the award and was looking forward to the future.

“It’s a huge honour and I am very proud of the work that I’ve done and the good work that we’ve done,” he said.

“I’m very happy that I got that award.”

Breen said that despite the money the farmers have earned, it had not been enough to support their families.

“The majority of the farmers in this region, they’ve been out there on the land for 20 years and they’re working as hard as they can, trying to survive, and so they’re still very much looking forward,” he told ABC RN.

“That’s the reason why we have been able to have this award.

We can’t do it without them.”

Dr Sager said that farmers across Australia were being rewarded for their hard work.

“If we don’t have people like this, it’s not sustainable,” he explained.

“We have to be thinking about what our local community needs and what their needs are.”

This award really gives us the opportunity to do that and we are very proud to be a part of it.

“The awards ceremony took place at a reception room in the CBD of the Victorian Government’s new agriculture centre in Newcastle, which is being built by the State Government.

It was attended by about 40 local farmers, some of whom were the recipients of the $50,000 prize, and Dr Sager was the only one who received the $250,000 award.”

What it does is it says to the local community that you have done something, you have contributed and you’ve got something to contribute to,” Dr Sagers said.

The winner of the prize will be announced at the same time as the $5 million fund to develop the centre, which has been earmarked for agricultural development.”

As a local government we’re trying to build the best place in the world for farming,” Dr Heneigan said.

Topics:environment,environmental-impact,environment-management,horticulture,food-processing,farmers,australiaFirst posted February 20, 2021 06:03:33Contact Tom HaeghanMore stories from New South Wales

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