WAFarmers has welcomed the State Government’s announcement of a $54.4 million investment into grains research and development, stating it would help growers to improve their yields and keep up with demand.
Announced today by Minister for Agriculture and Food Mark Lewis, the investment will see a funding commitment from 2017 to 2020, which includes $20 million from Royalties for Regions, and will support the establishment of a new Western Australian Grains Research model.
The body will be jointly owned and run by the State Government the Grains Research and Development Corporation, and is expected to be operational by mid-2017.
WAFarmers Grains Section President Duncan Young said the commitment would ensure not only the continuation, but the expansion of the grains sector.
“Worth approximately $5 billion to the state economy, the grains sector represents Western Australia’s largest agricultural industry, with over 80 per cent of produce exported worldwide,” Mr Young said.
“The state needs to build upon our existing capacities to keep up with this demand, and we believe the new Western Australian Grains Research model will put our industry in an even more enviable position by conducting critical research to help growers improve their yields.
“Only through continued research and development can a truly viable, profitable and sustainable future for the state’s agricultural industry be realised and, given the State Government’s aim is to double the value of agriculture by 2025, this injection of funding will undoubtedly work towards achieving this goal.”
Mr Young said WAFarmers had identified continued State Government support and partnership of grains-related bodies and research as being a high priority leading up to the election in March.
“As we look towards the State Election in March, we must highlight areas in need in agriculture to ensure the best possible future for the industry is secured,” he said.
“With today’s announcement, the State Government has addressed one of the policy areas we identified as being of importance to our members, and to the wider agricultural industry.
“We look forward to presenting our position on what we see as being the best approach for research and development coupled with a strong regional presence.
“Further, WAFarmers welcomes the opportunity to work alongside government to appoint suitably qualified individuals who would be responsible for the running and governance of the new WA Grains Research model, and continuing to represent the best interests of WA grain growers.”
All media requests must be directed to WAFarmers Media and Communications Officer Melanie Dunn on (08) 9486 2100 or [email protected].