SA's red meat sector receives $7.5m boost

Funding boost to grow SA's sheep and cattle numbers


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The state government's $7.5m investment for the red meat sector is to increase the amount of quality product available for processing.

The state government's $7.5m investment for the red meat sector is to increase the amount of quality product available for processing.

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The state's red meat sector has been given a $7.5 million cash injection to boost on-farm productivity and enhance market access, including money for electronic sheep readers.

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The state's red meat sector has been given a $7.5 million cash injection to boost on-farm productivity, install infrastructure and enhance market access.

This week, Primary Industries Minister Tim Whetstone announced the state government funding from the Economic and Business Growth Fund for greater industry extension of research, the voluntary roll out of electronic sheep readers in saleyards, abattoirs and on-farm, and further strengthening biosecurity.

But the exact breakdown of where the money will be spent is still being finalised by the government in consultation with industry groups.

Mr Whetstone says the red meat sector is one of the state's key drivers and it is committed to creating a "good environment" for the $2.4 billion sector to grow.

Red meat, along with wool, is the largest manufacturing employer with 30,000 people.

"I would like to think we can maintain our year-on-year 8 per cent growth but we are really under the pump with the drought in the eastern seaboard and into SA so it about helping future proof the industry."

"It is about helping farming industries to help themselves rather than helping individuals," he said.

Mr Whetstone says food safety and quality assurance are key demands of consumers and wants to ensure systems are in place to ensure more high quality product is available for processing and every opportunity to bring interstate livestock to SA for processing.

Despite the electronic ID investment Mr Whetstone says there are no plans at this stage to introduce mandatory sheep eID across SA.

"Vic has led the way and very quickly we need to get in step nationally, but as a government we just want to make it easier to bring as many of the nation's livestock to SA to be processed," he said.

"It will help alleviate the costs to the sheep industry with tagging but also bring livestock producers along with the benefits of electronic tagging."

He acknowledges there is "room for improvement" in the communication strategies of PIRSA's One Biosecurity program which was launched in August last year.

It will dedicate more funds to the online system and assist in lifting industry uptake from about 400 participating businesses.

Livestock SA president Joe Keynes says it is pleasing the state government has recognised the importance of the SA Sheep and Beef Industry Blueprints in setting the agenda for industry development.

"Livestock SA has worked closely with all sectors of industry and government in the development of the Blueprints and they really do provide a blueprint for the state's red meat and wool industries going forward," he said.

"New investment in our industry is always very welcome and will support the continued development of programs and research into the red meat and wool industry."

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