IT has been a little over a year since consultation began on a SA Grain Industry Blueprint, and the final stages of its development are being completed.
The blueprint steering committee met on Friday to review final submissions and discuss how the feedback could be implemented into the 10-year strategy.
Grain Producers SA chief executive officer Caroline Rhodes said most of the feedback during the consultation phase had been "very positive", with "a real sense of excitement regarding the opportunities highlighted in the draft blueprint".
But sustainability and climate variability were key themes arising from the submissions received in response to the draft blueprint, which blueprint project manager Jonathan Wilson said had since been addressed.
"GrainGrowers had been doing quite a lot on it (climate change policy) and we didn't want to overlap with what they were doing, but it was a gap that was identified by industry and we have since addressed that gap," he said.
Mr Wilson said consultation had also highlighted a number of exciting prospects the sector could be investigating to grow the value of the SA grains industry to $6 billion by 2030 - the main aim behind the blueprint.
"It is a big ask to achieve 3 per cent growth of an industry every year, but we definitely won't get there by sitting back and saying it will happen organically," he said.
We have identified a tremendous amount of opportunities and it will be up to industry to decide which ones they want to carry forward as part of this strategy.
"There has to be action, so whether that is by attracting more domestic consumers to the state, whether it's about solving our food-grade container issues, whether it's about ensuring we are getting the right research secured in SA or whether it's about better communicating information back to growers - we have identified a tremendous amount of opportunities and it will be up to industry to decide which ones they want to carry forward as part of this strategy."
Mr Wilson said from his discussions with industry, he saw huge potential in the feed grain industry, particularly for chicken, which would be "going through the roof" by 2030.
"There is also opportunities in flour milling, and whether we can engage with east coast millers and bring them here to SA," he said.
"We are also the nation's biggest producer of lentils, faba beans and peas.
"Yet we seem to be consuming these pulses in products that come from other countries. We need to attract those processors to our state.
"We have many advantages over the other states and that's really exciting.
"It's just a matter of getting in front of the right decision-makers and getting them to conduct their business here."
Ms Rhodes said the final blueprint, to be revealed at GPSA's AGM in Freeling late next month (August 24), would "set a course of action for the industry to capture greater value and capitalise on the opportunities which present themselves between now and 2030".
"GPSA is committed to the blueprint's implementation so the industry can attract both public and private investment, which has been a key priority since the project was launched in June 2019," she said.
"It is an exciting time to be part of the SA grain industry and I am proud to have helped lead this process."
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