- Liberal National Government joint effort with Ord alliance investigates future food crops
Research to identify future food crops for the East Kimberley and support agricultural expansion in the top end is the focus of a new collaboration between the Liberal National Government and industry.
Agriculture and Food Minister Dean Nalder welcomed the formation of the Functional Foods Crop Research Alliance Pty Ltd, a new industry alliance for the Ord River Irrigation Area focused on research and development of new crops for the Australian and export markets.
"The Ord region is an intensive and valuable food-producing region, with immense opportunity for growth," Mr Nalder said.
"The alliance represents three significant players which represent a substantial proportion of land cropped in the Ord Valley and the majority of agricultural producers.
"This is industry leading the research priorities for the Ord and looking at the whole of the supply chain for products, from the research and development of superior produce, understanding the market and the scale required, through to efficient and effective production and logistics.
"Beginning with rigorous research and development, the group has a vision to make the region a leader in the production, processing and marketing of functional foods."
The Department of Agriculture and Food is collaborating with the alliance by combining research expertise and hosting trials of crops at its Kununurra research facilities.
Trial crops being grown include the health food crops chia and quinoa, the ancient grain teff, the cereal crop millet and a range of pulses.
"This collaborative approach is the key to further growth of irrigated agriculture in northern Australia," the Minister said.
"This alliance is making a substantial research investment commitment over the next five years to examine suitable tropical crops for the region."
Mr Nalder said the department was seeking to facilitate further partnerships with other research groups in the north.
The Functional Foods Crop Research Alliance Pty Ltd is a combined research partnership involving Kimberley Agricultural Investment, the Chia Company and the Ord River District Co-operative
The Department of Agriculture and Food's Kununurra research facility will host a range of trial food crops as part of the new collaboration
Minister's office - 6552 6400