Major investment in grains research capacity in NSW
25 September 2014
Joint media release
The Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP
Minister for Agriculture
The Hon. Katrina Hodgkinson
NSW Minister for Primary Industries
Australian Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, and NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, today announced a major $10.8 million boost for grains research and development (R&D) in NSW, with the creation of 18 new research officers in key cropping locations across the state.
The new positions are in addition to the significant investment the Commonwealth and NSW Governments have already made in grains R&D.
Minister Joyce said that strong R&D underpinned agricultural productivity growth.
“I recognise that R&D is a key driver for industry and farmgate profitability—which is why the Australian Government has committed $5.2 million to this initiative through the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC)," Minister Joyce said.
“Investment in R&D is one way we can help to build resilience and improve long-term farm sustainability through developing new varieties, better disease, pest and weed management, better crop nutrition and other new developments.
“There are also great opportunities for the grains industry to tap into new markets and improve productivity and profits—we know being competitive on the global stage is important in boosting farmer profitability.”
Ms Hodgkinson, who made the announcement today at the Henty Machinery Field Days in southern NSW, said the positions will be spread across the State, including at Wagga Wagga, Yanco, Trangie, Tamworth and Narrabri.
“Ongoing investment in R&D is crucial to driving continued productivity growth, which is why the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is facilitating more than 1000 active R&D projects, worth more than $100 million,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
“This is a historic joint initiative between the NSW DPI and the GRDC to build research and development capacity for NSW grain growers, whose industry contributes more than $3 billion to the NSW economy each year.
“These additional research staff will take on new projects in identified research and development ‘gaps’, where further research is required to drive productivity gains across the sector.
“The agreement allows for 18 research officer positions on three-year terms to be recruited during the five-year life of the project.
“The NSW DPI will then provide ongoing salaries for up to 14 of these positions – six in the southern grains region and eight in the northern grains region – by the end of the contracts.”
The GRDC’s primary objective is to drive the discovery, development and delivery of world-class innovation to enhance the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Australian grain growers and benefit the industry and the wider community.