SINCE its launch last month, the South Australian Grain Industry Blueprint has been well-received by growers and industry here in SA. It outlines the vision for SA grain to become a $6 billion industry by 2030.
Is it bold? Yes. Is it aspirational? Yes. Is it parochial? Yes, and unashamedly so.
Such a bold vision will always have its naysayers - some of whom have expressed their view on this very site ('Grain industry blueprint priorities need adjusting').
Since the blueprint project was initiated in 2019, we always wanted to push boundaries, challenge conventional thinking and harness new ideas about how the grain industry can pursue sustainable growth. The $6b target reflects the role of agriculture in the SA government's Growth State plan.
I strongly believe the priorities and targets outlined in the blueprint will be critical in kickstarting SA's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Attracting greater investment across the entire grain value chain through public-private partnerships, boosting agricultural research and development and providing jobs and skills training are all critical areas of the blueprint, which will support economic recovery. We also need to instil investor confidence and attract new funding to our sector and our state.
The development of the blueprint was a highly collaborative process to create a shared vision for the next decade. The consultation process had more than 250 growers attend meetings, more than 40 industry working group members and more than 70 attendees at the initial scoping workshop. This helped generate innovative ideas and build collective goodwill towards the industry's future. We have incorporated stakeholder input from across the grain value chain and identified more than 160 project areas to pursue in the next 10 years.
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Capturing greater value from export markets, building demand for grain within SA and reinforcing the state's reputation as a producer of quality grain in a changing climate are challenges the industry must face in a united manner. Sustainability must be considered in the implementation of all blueprint projects, although it has a particularly significant role in the development and adoption of innovative technologies, agronomic practices, market opportunities and processing capabilities.
It recognises the risk climate change and increased climate variability pose to grain production in SA and provides the business case to invest in grain research, development and extension. That's why we need to build our industry's capacity and attract and retain the best and brightest minds in order to bring new ideas and technology on-farm and across the value chain.
The opportunities ahead are significant, with Australia's population set to increase by up to 19 per cent by 2030, with a corresponding increase of 3.25 million tonnes in domestic grain demand. Global population growth and changing dietary patterns are also driving increased demand for grain.
The blueprint shines a light on some of the incredible opportunities ahead. But we require a united and cohesive approach to move and succeed in achieving not only the blueprint's goals but the future of our industry more broadly as we partner with government in the years ahead.
It is an exciting time to be part of the SA grain industry and I am proud of what the Blueprint project has achieved in bringing the grain value chain together.
- Details: View the final product at blueprint.grainproducerssa.com.au
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