19/04/2021 - 15:38

New hub to help farmers respond to drought

19/04/2021 - 15:38

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Grower Group Alliance will lead a drought resilience adoption and innovation hub in Merredin to help farmers and communities prepare for drought.

New hub to help farmers respond to drought
The centre will develop farmer-centred drought innovation and adoption practices over four years.

Grower Group Alliance will lead a drought resilience adoption and innovation hub in Merredin to help farmers and communities prepare for drought.

The federal government is investing $8 million and hub members will contribute $12.2 million.

The centre will develop farmer-centred drought innovation and adoption practices over four years.

The core site is at Merredin Dryland Research Institute with nodes at Carnarvon, Geraldton, Northam, Bunbury, Manjimup, Albany, Katanning and Esperance.

Key industries will include grain, livestock, dairy, horticulture and viticulture.

Grower Group Alliance chair Peter Roberts said the hub would encourage innovation, adoption and entrepreneurship, which would better position Western Australia in the global agricultural innovation landscape.

“The hub will focus on activities that build business resilience by using innovative technology to transform farming systems,” he said.

“It will put farmers and communities at the centre of agrifood innovation and create pathways for producers to input into how research is designed and applied on the ground.

“This will speed up innovation and adoption, making WA agriculture industries more resilient, productive and competitive in the face of future drought.”

Member for Durack and Defence Industry Minister, Melissa Price, said the hub would bring together researchers, farmers, industry, supply chain experts, traditional owners, entrepreneurs, agribusiness and other stakeholders to take on the challenges of drought.  

“Through the hub, they will design and deliver innovative tools and strategies for WA famers and their communities, boosting drought resilience and future proofing our regional communities,” Ms Price said.

“The hub will be a shopfront for farmers to access innovative technologies and practices that enable them to be more prepared and resilient to drought.”

The project is one of eight hubs to be established through the federal government’s $5 billion Future Drought Fund.

Grower Group Alliance is a not-for-profit organisation that has more than 60 grower group members in WA, representing more than 4,000 producers.

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