Hyvees were a staple in the Australian landscape for centuries.
In the 19th century, they were first produced by the Australian Cotton and Wool Board.
Over the course of the 20th century and beyond, the popularity of the plant, particularly in the south-east, led to its being grown for its fibre, flavour and health benefits.
A century on, Hyveen has taken the cake, becoming one of the largest cakes in Australia and a global icon of the Australian calendar.
However, the plant can also be quite controversial, as its reputation is often questioned for the way it is harvested.
According to the National Farmers Union (NFU), which campaigns for the conservation and preservation of Australian agriculture, Hyvis has been used as a cotton seed for decades, but the number of acres planted with the plant has grown in recent years.
“For years we have been fighting to ensure that we can continue to harvest Hyveena for its essential role in Australian agriculture,” said NFU chief executive, David Williams.
“With the introduction of the new law, we have seen the Hyveema Farming Commission take an immediate and decisive action to protect the biodiversity of Australia’s agricultural sector.
The legislation is a landmark achievement that will allow the future of Hyveelas on our soil.”
As part of the landmark legislation, the NFU has set a target to save 1.5 million hectares of Australian cotton from being cut down, as well as increasing awareness of the health and benefits of Hyvis.
As well as boosting cotton seed stocks, the legislation also aims to protect Hyveemas unique ability to produce high yields and quality.
Hyveena has a strong genetic heritage of over 100 generations, which has made it an important part of Australian farming and the agricultural industry, particularly with the introduction in the 1960s of the ‘superplants’ concept.
However, some farmers have argued that its use has been overstated in the past.
In 2010, Hyvetas popularity fell, as the number and diversity of varieties declined.
As a result, the industry began a series of campaigns to ensure it was properly utilised.
Although Hyveeras popularity has increased, the number is still small, and it is likely to decline further, according to Professor David Williams of the University of Tasmania.
“[We are] seeing the number decline rapidly, and with the industry having to adapt, it is going to become even more important for the environment,” he said.
This is not the first time the Australian government has taken aim at the plant.
Last year, the Australian Government released a report claiming that the Hyvis plant had become a “dumping ground for unwanted seeds”.
In response to the report, the National Farmer’s Union (NFU) set up a taskforce to look into the Hyvet’s health benefits and work with the Australian Industry Group (AIG) to ensure its future sustainability.
Professor Williams believes the Nfu will continue to campaign for Hyveems future use, and says that the government will continue its commitment to the plant by setting a target for the total amount of cotton harvested from Australia in 2030.
There is currently a petition on the Hyvents Facebook page, urging the Australian public to support its use.
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