The Liberal National Government today announced $54.4 million towards grains research and development to grow and protect Western Australia's biggest agricultural industry.
Agriculture and Food Minister Mark Lewis said the investment to 2020 would enable a new Western Australian grains research and development model to be established and ensured essential grains science capacity remained in the Department of Agriculture and Food.
"The State Government is a key investor in agricultural science and technology to drive the long-term growth of our grains sector and boost the vital economic benefits for WA," Mr Lewis said.
"This will reinvigorate grain crop science, innovation and technology to ensure WA grain growers continue to improve productivity and profitability into the future."
Mr Lewis said the State Government would work in partnership with the Grains Research and Development Corporation and the grains industry on the best approach for research and development with a strong regional presence that would endure well into the future.
"The certainty of additional State funding will also allow the State to leverage not only the nearly $20 million of its funding per year, but also the nearly $30 million of WA grain growers' levies per year, against Commonwealth and other funding sources," he said.
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the funding commitment included a $20 million investment by Royalties for Regions.
"With up to 90 per cent of the State's grain exported, it is vital the industry remains internationally competitive through the advancement and adoption of new technology," Mr Redman said.
"This funding is vital to drive ongoing on-farm productivity grains, lift the profitability of the grains sector and return more value from export markets.
"Each year, about 4,200 grain growing businesses, primarily family-owned and operated, produce an average 14.5 million tonnes of grain, such as wheat, barley, canola, lupins and oats, which makes an enormous contribution to the WA economy and regional communities."
Western Australian grain exports are worth between $4 and 5 billion each year
The WA grains industry exports 80-90% of its annual production to more than 50 countries worldwide with countries in Asia and the Middle East the biggest markets
Agriculture and Food Minister's office - 6552 6400
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700