New R&D for Profit program presents enormous opportunity for Australian cane growers and millers

Date Posted

14 May, 2015

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The Australian sugarcane industry’s owned body for research and development and extension is partnering with a newly released round of Federal Government funding to deliver new research projects that will result in real-world positive outcomes for sugarcane growers and millers.

The Federal Government has announced the first round of funding under its Rural Research and Development for Profit program and confirmed this funding in the Federal Budget this week.
Sugar Research Australia CEO Neil Fisher said that SRA would lead a major project under the new program and is partnering on five other projects.

“All of these projects will deliver outcomes for primary producers and value chains across the country in a range of industries, and SRA is ensuring that Australian sugarcane growers and millers are receiving maximum benefit from this new government funding program,” Mr Fisher said.

“These six projects represent a total research investment of almost $27 million cash from government and Research and Development Corporations (RDCs), as well as in-kind investment, which will help deliver substantial benefits for the Australian sugarcane industry.

“This represents an enormous opportunity for SRA and its members as we leverage significant opportunities from a relatively modest investment from SRA of $875,000 over three years.
“We congratulate the Federal Government and the Agriculture Minister, Barnaby Joyce, in making this proactive investment in rural research and development.”

Mr Fisher said that two of the projects would collaborate to improve extension services for Australian agriculture.

“The challenge of seeing research adopted to its maximum potential is not unique to the sugar industry. It confronts a number of industries and SRA is excited to collaborate our investment with similar industries to deliver improvements to extension and adoption,” Mr Fisher said.

“The program will also work on a range of other projects as well as extension, from driving irrigation efficiency and new investment, to developing new value-added animal feeds from by-products, to improving seasonal forecasting for primary producers, to enhanced efficiency fertilisers.

“These are practical and exciting projects that will deliver positive outcomes for the Australian sugarcane industry, and are another example of SRA striving for the maximum benefit from the investment that growers and millers make in us. We are working collaboratively with other RDCs and Industry Owned Corporations to deliver across our respective industries.”

Projects that SRA is collaborating with include:

  • A profitable future for Australian agriculture: biorefineries for higher-value animal feed, chemicals and fuel, led by Sugar Research Australia (total project investment $6.09 million).
  • Improved use of seasonal forecasting to increase farmer profitability, led by Rural Industries RDC (total project investment $3.8 million).
  • Waste to revenue: novel fertilisers and feeds, led by Australian Pork Limited (total project investment $2 million)
  • Smarter Irrigation for Profit, led by Cotton Research and Development Corporation (total project investment$10 million).
  • Stimulating private sector extension in Australian agriculture to increase returns from R&D, led by Dairy Australia (total project investment $3.09 million)
  • Consolidating targeted and practical extension services for Australian farmers and fishers, led by Rural Industries RDC (total project investment $1.6 million).
  • ENDS.
    Media contact: SRA Brad Pfeffer 0419 175 815.

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