Formerly known as the Australian Hydroponic and Greenhouse Association, the Protected Cropping Australia (PCA) is the peak industry body for commercial hydroponics and greenhouse horticulture in Australia.
Its members consists of:
- equipment and installation suppliers
- specialist consultants and advisors
- researchers and educators
The PCA estimates the Protected Cropping Industry to be worth $1.8 billion per year in Australia and is said to be the fastest growing food producing sector.
What is hydroponics and its role in the industry?
Hydroponics is the production of crops in isolation from the soil - with or without a medium - with their total water and nutrient requirements supplied by the system.
Production takes place in a greenhouse or outdoors where systems can recirculate or allow nutrients to "free drain" for reuse on other crops such as trees and pasture improvement.
The industry is highly efficient in its use of inputs including water, fertilisers, labour, land and energy.
Hydroponics and greenhouse technology has emerged as a commercial alternative to soil-based production.
Significant crops include:
- Mediterranean and Asian herbs
- Asian greens
- Asiatic and Oriental lilies
- cut flowers such as roses, gerberas, carnations, lisianthus and chrysanthemums
PCA's key objectives:
- represent the Protected Cropping Industry nationally
- encourage and support local grower groups and be a focus for national interaction
- collect, produce and distribute information to members through industry events such conferences, seminars, newsletters and workshops
- promote the inherent efficiency and sustainability of PCA's growing systems and its advantages
- encourage and support relevant research and development activities alligned with the industry
- facilitate APVMA (Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority) applications for usage of specialist treatment products in greenhouses
- undertake any activities which may foster the development of a rational, co-ordinated and sustained cropping industries in Australia