THE AUSTRALIAN grains industry is set to benefit from a $24 million investment in the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) to continue its marketing development and research efforts to build long-term industry success.
The Western Australia Government and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) have signed an agreement to contribute $3M each per year from 2022-23 to 2025-26, enabling AEGIC to maintain and build new trade opportunities and industry value.
The WA Government has also allocated an additional $1M in 2022-23 to pursue research that benefits local growers.
The State’s extra funding will extend current research to position soft wheat to seize market opportunities, increase consumption of whole-grain wheat, and cultivate opportunities for locally grown oats.
WA Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said AEGIC’s work benefited stakeholders across the grains supply chain, through market analysis and intelligence, understanding customer requirements, and developing new products and value-adding opportunities.
“AEGIC is working for the Australian grains industry to forge pathways to new markets, and pursue new products and ways of using our grain,” Ms MacTiernan said.
“The grains market has become increasingly volatile and complex, highlighting the important work AEGIC does to ensure Australian grain export relationships are secure and industry is well placed to adapt to the trading environment.
“This funding commitment from our government and the GRDC will ensure that AEGIC’s work can continue and grow over the next four years.
“AEGIC is a great example of joint government investment in targeted initiatives which produce tangible results that translate to improved productivity, profitability and sustainability of our valuable primary industries.”
GRDC chair John Woods said the ongoing partnership between the WA Government and GRDC would allow AEGIC to continue to work with domestic and international markets to inform and create opportunities that benefited all Australian grain growers.
“AEGIC, with its main office in Perth and additional research facilities in Sydney, is one of those key organisations that delivers for growers across the whole country,” Mr Woods said.
Mr Woods said some of AEGIC’s most impactful work in recent years included insights into the wheat-quality preferences of Asian customers to guide industry decision-making, diversifying markets for Australian malting barley, including India and Latin America, and securing access to the $1 billion EU canola market.
Recently, AEGIC has been working with flour millers and processors in South-east Asian markets such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and The Philippines to help them understand the benefits of using Australian wheat for noodles and baked products.
Established in 2012, the independent not-for-profit company works closely with Western Australian-based grains breeding company InterGrain, which is also co-owned by the WA Government and the GRDC, to develop varieties suited to WA conditions that meet customer expectations.
This continued investment in AEGIC is timely, given the increasingly complex market forces and dynamic operating environment in the global grains sector.
Source: AEGIC, GRDC, WA Government