World traders updated on Australian grains R&D
GroundCover™ Issue: 110 | Author: Catherine Norwood
“The GRDC is open for business,” chair Richard Clark told more than 150 delegates at the inaugural Australian Grains Industry Conference (AGIC) in Singapore in March.
“If anyone along the value chain has research ideas that they think will benefit Australian growers then we are willing to co-invest,” he told the conference, attended by customers and marketers of Australian grain.
Mr Clark said innovation and new technologies, including new varieties, had helped Australian growers to triple production since 1975, making the country a more reliable supplier to the world grain market.
The pace of innovation and improvement could not stall, he said, and this was driving a number of co-investments in research and development including, new low-glycaemic wheats (based on high-amylose wheats) to address chronic health issues such as diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.
Mr Clark also brought the conference up to date on research into canola capable of producing omega-3 fatty acids, as a potential alternative to omega-3s from marine algae delivered via seafoods.
He said feedback from customers and from other parts of the value chain was welcome, as it was possible that the GRDC could help address issues identified by end users in ways that they might not be able to achieve on their own.
Speaking after his presentation, Mr Clark said the AGIC Singapore event provided an important opportunity to fill in an information vacuum that had followed deregulation of the Australian industry. Several presentations outlined the Australian wheat classification and quality systems.
Regional reports from Australia analysed the 2013-14 grain harvest, and opportunities for wheat, feed grains and oilseeds in Asian markets were also discussed.
Participants included grain growers, grain traders and exporters, flour millers, financial service providers and other agribusinesses supporting the grains industry.