Drought hub to help SA build resilience

SA Drought Hub launched at Waite

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FUTURE PROOFING: University of Adelaide deputy vice chancellor Anton Middelberg, SA Drought Hub application leader Rhiannon Schilling, and federal Grey MP Rowan Ramsey at the launch of the new SA Drought Hub.

FUTURE PROOFING: University of Adelaide deputy vice chancellor Anton Middelberg, SA Drought Hub application leader Rhiannon Schilling, and federal Grey MP Rowan Ramsey at the launch of the new SA Drought Hub.

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A NEW research centre - based at Roseworthy and with five regional nodes - will help prepare the state against future droughts.

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A NEW research centre - based at Roseworthy and with five regional nodes - will help prepare the state against future droughts.

The SA Drought Hub is part of a network of eight being launched nationwide, as part of the federal government's $5 billion Future Drought Fund.

Launched this morning at the University of Adelaide's Waite Campus, the SA hub with be led by the University of Adelaide, as part of an extensive collaboration, which includes all SA universities, 59 grower groups, government agencies, indigenous partners, agribusinesses, RD&E partners and industry organisations.

Rhiannon Schilling, Affiliate Lecturer at the University of Adelaide led the SA Drought Hub application said it was great to bring together so many networks.

"The partners provide an extensive regional coverage of the state and bring together a diverse range of skillsets, perspectives and resources," she said.

"Their significant support underlines the need for industry to work together towards a common goal of building future drought resilience in agriculture."

The SA Drought Hub will receive $8 million of funding across four years from the federal government, with the SA government also pitching in $2m in cash and $2.4m in-kind support and about $11.47 million of cash and in-kind support from the hub's partners.

While the core site will be based at the University of Adelaide's Roseworthy campus, it will be complemented by five nodes, located at Minnipa, Port Augusta, Orroroo, Loxton and Struan - encompassing pastoral, and low, medium and high rainfall areas.

RELATED:Nation's first drought hub set for northern NSW, Qld

Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said that Hub lead, the University of Adelaide, would oversee the co-design and delivery of innovative projects and practices aimed at boosting drought resilience and agricultural productivity.

"For the first time, this South Australian Hub will bring together local researchers, farmers, industry, supply chain experts, traditional owners, agribusiness and other stakeholders to take on the challenges of drought," Mr Ramsey said.

"Through the Hub, they will design and deliver innovative tools and strategies for South Australian famers and their communities, boosting drought resilience and future proofing our regional communities."

Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister David Basham said the Drought Hub would bring together research and expertise to help increase drought resilience and preparedness for South Australian farmers.

"Significant parts of SA have suffered through drought in recent years and setting up the Drought Hub is an important step in helping our farmers be as prepared as possible for future dry conditions," he said.

"Our primary producers are the backbone of the state's economy and when drought hits there is a ripple effect that impacts individual farmers, families and regional communities.

"The Hub concept is a great example of collaboration between government, industry and research and education sectors to help improve drought resilience across the state."

More to come.

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