DPIRD boosts support for Grower Group Alliance

Group photograph of Agriculture Minister with grower group representative
Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan (centre) with representatives from grower groups and DPIRD at the launch of the Grower Group Alliance’s new premises located at the front of DPIRD’s South Perth office.

Farmer-led research, development, and innovation has been boosted in Western Australia with investment to enhance the capacity and efforts of the Grower Group Alliance (GGA), and improve returns to growers.

The State Government recently committed $4.38 million over four years to assist the GGA to support its 44 grower groups located throughout the State, as well as additional support.

Under the new arrangements, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development will assign staff and resources to the GGA to build collaborative initiatives.

Strength in collaboration

The new commitment reinvigorates DPIRD’s 17-year association with GGA, which has seen department staff, grower groups, and farmers work side-by-side to identify and solve real-world problems, resulting in significant farm business and industry innovations.

The partnership has paved the way for faster adoption of new farm management practices, and new varieties and technologies, backed by high quality, ground-truthed information.

The arrangement reinforces this long, strong history of collaboration, and is expected to lead to an increase in demand-driven, applied, on-farm research via grower groups, and engage DPIRD researchers with issues farmers are facing on the ground, providing valuable information exchange.

Team WA

The unified approach will strengthen capacity to attract scientific and ag-tech research, development and innovation (RD&I) investment to Western Australia.

DPIRD has extensive regional field research infrastructure and quality scientific laboratory facilities, and research expertise.

GGA has access to a network of grower groups whose combined membership reaches more than 50 per cent of the State’s farming businesses located throughout the State, predominantly in grains and livestock industries, with some focused on irrigated agriculture, natural resource management, or local landcare initiatives.

A Collaboration Council, including GGA board members and DPIRD executives, will be established to provide high level strategic advice to assist both organisations to optimise their RD&I investments.

Group photograph of event special guests
Pictured in front of the Grower Group Alliance’s new office (from left) are GGA chairman Dr Kevin Goss, Agricultural Region MLC Darren West, Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan, GGA CEO Annabelle Bushell, and from DPIRD, Director General Ralph Addis, and RD&I Managing Director Dr Mark Sweetingham.

Strong and sustainable

The State Government support provides the GGA with the financial security to continue to support its grower groups and focus on building its suite of projects, training and development opportunities, and linking groups with science ag-tech innovators to ensure products are relevant to WA agribusinesses.

Forward together

A celebration was recently held in DPIRD’s South Perth office, where GGA’s new offices are positioned, to encourage greater visibility and the integration of grower groups with GGA and DPIRD, and cement this phase of the collaboration.

For more information about the Grower Group Alliance, visit the GGA website.