A fledgling potato seed industry is emerging in the Esperance district with support from the Progress Rural WA initiative, Primary Industry Minister Monty House said today.
Mr House announced a $50,000 grant to the Western Australian Certified Seed Potato Company to purchase an electronic potato grader to facilitate the development of the industry on the South Coast.
The disease-free environment in the Esperance district offers a suitable environment to grow potato seed that can be used in WA or exported interstate and overseas to other growers to produce the vegetable.
Mr House said there was great local interest in developing the seed potato industry in the district.
“The Western Australian Certified Seed Potato Company has been growing high quality potato seed for two years with encouraging results,” he said.
“There are now at least eight local producers who have expressed on interest in growing potato seed as an adjunct to their traditional enterprises.
“Diversifying into a new enterprise like this provides growers with additional cash-flow that will support the viability of their businesses.”
Mr House said the Progress Rural WA grant would assist the WA Certified Seed Potato Company to achieve its vision to become a major supplier of disease free potato seed in Australia.
“The new electronic potato grading machine which will be housed in a specialised dust-free shed, will assist local growers maintain a certified elite seed region, while providing the opportunity to increase volume and expand in the future,” he said.
Progress Rural WA is an initiative of the Minister to provide a catalyst for country people and rural communities to move to the next step in developing and chartering their future directions.
Media contact: Julie Cole 9481 2044