Government signs $9m UAE ag deal

THE Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia had secured an $8.8 million soil-survey contract with Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. The department’s overseas consulting arm, AGWEST International, submitted a joint bid for the work with the Brisbane-based GRM International. The project will apply technologies used to develop AGMAPS, a new WA land resource information package. Its specifications include extensive soil mapping of the whole of the UAE, as well as follow-up intensive mapping of selected areas. The data collected will be fed into a state-of-the-art soil information system to assist in future land use planning. Agriculture and Food Minister Kim Chance lobbied on behalf of the bid on a recent visit to Abu Dhabi, and said he was delighted with the successful outcome. “This success is a tribute to the expertise of Western Australians in this field and to the close and trusting relationships that have been developed between WA and the Gulf states,” he said. The project will have input from Department of Agriculture and Food officers with soil survey experience in Kuwait, University of WA soil scientists and private consultants and will take three-and-a-half years to complete.

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