INVESTMENT U-TURN: Grains Producers SA chairman Wade Dabinett says the organisation wants to see a reversal in the trend of declining government investment in agricultural research and development.

GM review key for GPSA

REVISITING the state’s moratorium on growing genetically modified crops is part of Grain Producers SA’s wishlist for the upcoming March 17 state election.

REVISITING the state’s moratorium on growing genetically modified crops is part of Grain Producers SA’s wishlist for the upcoming March 17 state election.

“We’re calling for an independent review on the market advantages purported to result from having a GM-free state,” chairman Wade Dabinett said.

“We also want to make sure the incoming government appreciates the role biosecurity plays as a front-line defence. A lot of reactionary things are done but we need to make sure we’re investing so we’re ahead of the game.

“There’s also a lot of talk of alternative ports on the Eyre Peninsula so we’d like to see a study on the best new multi-use facility for the region.”

Mr Dabinett said reversing the trend of declining government investment in agricultural research and development was a major priority.

“We want to make sure the incoming government preserves PIRSA as a stand-alone department,” he said.

“We also want increased government investment in R&D through SARDI.

“There has been a trend of funding flowing away from industry and we think it needs to flows back.”

Having a fair deal for farmers when it comes to mining companies remained a priority for GPSA.

“We still believe there needs to be a fair and balanced review outside of the government’s mining act review,” Mr Dabinett said.

“At this point of time, we haven’t been assured that farmers’ rights aren’t going to be eroded.”

Drawing attention to the opportunities in agriculture was another focus.

“Everyone talks about jobs and growth, and there are a lot of opportunities in agriculture in this state, but that message doesn’t seem to be getting across to kids in metropolitan schools,” he said.

Having greater access to six-metre containers was another priority.

“In SA less than one per cent of our grain is exported in containers, in NSW it’s 23pc,” he said.

Mr Dabinett said while a reasonable amount of 12-metre containers were available in SA, they did not necessarily suit grain buyers at the end-destination. He said access to 6m containers was only set to get worse due to the closure of Holden’s Elizabeth factory.

“Last year, the grain industry contributed $2.5 billion to the state’s economy and employed nearly 180,000 people directly and in the food sector,” he said.

“Our election policy is nothing sexy or flashy, it’s about investing in a fundamental industry that generates great dividends for the state.”http://www.stockjournal.com.au/story/5090265/ppsa-pushes-to-cut-cost-load/

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