Mareeba citrus business Galati Farming intends to expand, after receiving a government grant of up to $200,000.
As one of 16 businesses to receive a Rural Economic Development (RED) grant, Galati Farming will install an additional cold room to support the expansion of the orchard and help meet consumer demand for fresh fruit.
Gina and Giovanni Galati own and run the business and currently grow lemons, grapefruit, mandarins and pomelos, but are struggling to keep up with the increasing demand.
"After much consultation with multiple agents in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne we knew that we needed to expand our orchard and the new cold room will help us accommodate the extra produce," she said.
"We have great local contractors here in Mareeba who will help us construct the cold room.
"With an increase in production, we will also look to employ more fruit pickers to help with the processing."
Overall, the 16 projects are expected to create more than 217 direct long-term jobs across regional Queensland.
The initial three rounds of the RED Grants program have seen funding of $10 million over three years to support more than 30 projects which have created 1800 jobs across regional Queensland.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner MP said Galati Farming's expansion would help boost local employment and economic opportunities in the Mareeba region.
"Fresh, locally grown produce is what the market is demanding, and this grant will help Galati Farming meet that demand by funding a project that will help them increase their fruit production," Mr Furner said.
"As a result of this project, a total of eight full time good jobs will be created," he said.
Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) administer the RED Grant scheme on behalf of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
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