Grain growers seek State Government support

SOUTH Australian farmers and producers are calling for support from the incoming State government following the election on March 15.

Grain Producers SA (GPSA) wants future profitability and sustainability to be guaranteed and have released a five-point policy to ensure this happens.

The policy outlines priority areas that need addressing including increasing competitiveness and profitability, investing in research, development and extension, building a stronger workforce, balancing agriculture with the environment and community, and profitably grow grain production.

GPSA chairman Garry Hansen wants all political parties to ensure the value of agriculture is recognised.

“The industry’s export value is $2.8 billion, making grain grower’s major contributors to SA’s economy,” he said.

“They need policies over the coming four years that will further boost their profitability and sustainability, not hinder them as small, regional businesses.”

Likewise, Livestock SA have identified 10 priority issues which president Richard Halliday said need to be addressed to enable the livestock sector to assist with reviving the State’s economy.

“With the decline of many other industries in South Australia, these ten priority issues if addressed would allow the value of livestock production in this State to increase so that the livestock sector can continue to be an important component of primary production as the State’s key industry,” he said.

“These issues were compiled from feedback and input from livestock producers from around the State.” 

The Horticulture Coalition of SA is also calling upon State Politicians and political parties to strengthen local food production and supply over the next decade.

The coalition launched a Blueprint for “Securing Food Production and Supply for SA to 2025 and Beyond” to ensure a level of profitability in the industry. Horticulture Coalition of SA chair Trevor Ranford said the company wasn’t looking for handouts but at present most sectors of the horticulture industry struggle to make a profit.

“First we need the new State Government - Labor, Liberal or otherwise - to recognise our peak body and our industry as a critical part of South Australia’s future and work with us to secure our food supply,” he said.

“And it is not only about our food, but also about jobs.

“The industry consists of 3500 small to medium business employing 13,500 permanent and an additional 24,000 seasonal staff.”

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