FOLLOWING the state government announcing it will allocate $140,000 to develop a grain industry blueprint, a scoping workshop is being held in Adelaide today to start identifying policy and priorities as part of the project.
Primary Industries Minister Tim Whetstone made the funding announcement on the Yorke Peninsula yesterday, saying the grain industry needed a strategic plan to "strive for reachable targets".
"The industry has been always focused on producing more grain, we need to look at ways that we can produce more value from that grain and make efficiencies in the supply chain," he said.
"We have already seen a number of blueprints successfully initiated in the SA livestock sector and they have given those industries a focus for the future and what they can do better in their businesses.
"This funding shows the confidence we have in our graingrowers and see the huge opportunity to grow the value of the industry and this blueprint will hopefully open up those opportunities."
For a long time, the grain industry has undersold itself and it is time to move forward.
Mr Whetstone highlighted new industry sectors and varieties, emerging technologies, market access, research, development and extension as some of the opportunities to explore.
"For a long time, the grain industry has undersold itself and it is time to move forward," he said.
"Our first stakeholder meeting is today and I think its the start of something really exciting."
Grain Producers SA has been appointed as the project manager of the blueprint, which chief executive officer Caroline Rhodes says they aim to finalise by next year.
"We have seen sheepmeat and beef industry blueprints establish targets to look at investment and policy decisions and we're really excited that we're the next industry to take part in this process," she said.
"But in order for it to succeed, we need maximum engagement across the value chain."
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Ms Rhodes said more than 80 industry stakeholders would be attending today's scoping workshop at the Waite campus, where six initial blueprint themes of value-adding; market demand; on-farm innovation; building industry capacity; infrastructure investment; and biosecurity and quality assurance will be discussed.
"We think the SA grain industry has huge potential so we hope to build a demand profile for our grain, then look at policy settings, supply chain initiatives and other opportunities that might arise through meeting that demand," she said.
"The final blueprint will be an over-arching document that the industry will be able to identify with and have had a voice on.
"It will be a coherent plan for the industry that guides investment and looks at long-term planning to avoid ad hoc responses to sudden shocks or disruptions to the industry."
Ms Rhodes said working groups with industry members will be established, tasked to drive the blueprint development and ensure each part of the value chain is included.
"More information will be available over the coming months and opportunities for individual growers and the broader industry to get involved," she said.
"We intend to use this project to engage with our members and identify what their priorities are and then from that, develop some really clear policy and projects arising from that."
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