THE HEAD of newly formed industry good organisation Grains Australia has welcomed the news a number of grains market access projects will be funded by the federal government.
Federal agriculture minister David Littleproud announced on Friday that a number of projects would be funded under the government's Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation (ATMAC) program, with $969,480 allocated.
Grains Australia, set up last year, will oversee the program rollouts, working with a number of other grains industry organisations such as the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre, Grain Trade Australia and Grain Growers.
Chief executive at Grains Australia Jonathan Wilson said there was a diverse range of programs being funded.
"There's work on everything from plant protein and adding value to our pulse crops to opening up markets for feed grain in south-east Asia, some of the projects are broad reaching and others are very specific, targeted to particular customers," Mr Wilson said.
"The projects, however, have something in common in that they are designed to create greater diversity and market access for Australian grain growers," he said.
Brett Hosking, Grain Growers chairman, said he was delighted to see a coordinated approach to market access projects.
"It's a fantastic start and hopefully we can get the projects up and running well and deliver some real value for Australian grain growers," Mr Hosking said.
"There are a lot of opportunities emerging and as an Australian industry we want to be in a position to take advantage of them," he said.
AEGIC chief executive Richard Simonaitis said AEGIC looked forward to delivering practical solutions to diversify export markets for feed and malting barley, other feed grains and pulses under the ATMAC program.
"More diverse market options results in increased demand which increases value for growers in the long term," Mr Simonaitis said.
"This is a great example of government making a valuable investment and supporting the industry to deliver real outcomes and increase value for our growers," he said.
Mr Wilson said it was important to get moving on the projects before someone else seized the opportunity.
"The investment recognises an immediate need to help the grain industry expand market opportunities much quicker so we can effectively market the crop and maximise returns for growers," Mr Wilson said.
And the likelihood of a big crop makes finding new markets even more important.
Mr Wilson said the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences was forecasting a 48.6 million-tonne winter crop on the back of favourable conditions in both the east and west of Australia.
"We are likely to have a big crop and therefore a big export task ahead of us," he said.
The projects to be undertaken under the ATMAC program are:
- Export demand for pulses with co-funding partner GRDC: AEGIC.
- Demand for feedgrain into Asia: AEGIC.
- Non-traditional malting barley markets: AEGIC.
- Market expansion in India: GTA.
- Communicating the way our growers produce grain: GGL.
- Framework development: Grains Australia.