Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair has announced $9 million to strengthen the grains research and development capacity at key research centres in the northern region.
During his visit at AgQuip Field Days in Gunnedah, Minister Blair said the NSW Government and the Grains Research and Development Corporation have co-invested $7 million under the Capacity Building project.
“We need to make sure the state’s farmers have access to the latest innovations and technologies – that’s why it is so Government and industry work hand-in-hand to invest in world-class research which will support the growth of state’s grain sector,” Mr Blair said.
“This project is focused on getting the world’s best scientists to help pave the way for exponential growth for Northern NSW’s grain industry.
“That’s because we know research helps us to prepare for the challenges of the future, unlock new market opportunities and improve the profitability of our grain producers.”
Based at Tamworth Agricultural Institute, Mr Sean Bithell will increase the science capacity in chickpea disease management and Dr Tim Weaver based at the Australian Cotton Research Institute Narrabri will undertake crop nutrition research.
There will be a further six positions recruited over the next four years in areas of pre-breeding, pathology, physiology, agronomy, weeds and farming systems.
GRDC Northern Regional Panel Chair, James Clark said currently GRDC and DPI partner across $13.5 million of investment in grains research and development in the northern region of NSW per annum.
“Further co-investment by DPI and GRDC includes $2 million into updating research and development infrastructure and equipment,” Mr Clark said.
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said: “This investment will strengthen Department of Primary Industries’ position as the key provider of grains research and development in northern NSW at its research centres in Tamworth, Narrabri and Trangie”.
The NSW Government is committed to growing the primary industries sector. In the grains area alone there is now a $140 million portfolio of projects across NSW, as part of its partnership with the GRDC.