In February 2015, GIWA launched the WA Grains Industry Strategy 2025+, a strategy to double the value of the WA grains industry by 2025. The WA grain industry accounts for around 50% of the farm gate value of agriculture in the state, and around 40% of the value of grain exports from Australia.
The strategy was produced by the Grain Industry Association of WA, funded by DAFWA (now the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development – DPIRD) and launched by the former Minister of Agriculture and Food WA. GIWA members and invited stakeholders provided supply chain contributions over a nine month consultation period from every sector of WA’s export oriented grain supply chain ie researchers, plant breeders, growers, grower groups, agronomists, farm advisers, input service providers, banks, feed and food grain processors, bulk handler and accumulators, container exporters, marketers, and industry organisations.
The strategy comprises eight industry wide actions, as well as a raft of specific recommendations for the major grain commodities grown in WA ie wheat, barley, oats, oilseeds and pulses (lupins, field peas, faba beans, chickpeas and red lentils).
- a comprehensive least-cost pathway analysis of the process for getting grain from farm to export port (updating the 2009 Strategic Grain Network Review report), including a full analysis of road funding requirements and a true economic comparison of rail and road costs
- an examination of the need for grain handling infrastructure in the Kwinana Industrial Area, including intermodal transport hubbing, and container packing and an examination of grain processing using the Fremantle Inner harbour and eventually a Fremantle Outer harbour
- continuing the impetus to streamline export clearance and chemical registration processes
- support for market choice for farmers and consumers to choose whether to use genetically modified products, and the repeal of current State legislation in favour of uniform national legislation relating to food safety and the environmental impact of all production technologies
- pre-competitive promotion of Australia’s reputation for supplying high value grain markets, supported by classification, quality standards and biosecurity measures to ensure market access
- continued emphasis on identifying value adding processing opportunities on shore and off shore, including looking at the feasibility of a consolidated grain processing hub in WA
- further investment in doppler weather radar facilities and improved mobile telecommunication services throughout the grainbelt to enable the full utilisation of technology available to maximise grain growing productivity
- addressing the skills shortages, training and capacity building needs of those working in the WA grains industry
Additional recommendations included actions to build farm business resilience and support for the priority setting processes under the Grains Research and Development Corporation.