Home' Grower : June 2011 Contents The South Australian Grower -- June 2011
In this month's issue:
19 BioTech Organics
19 Sparrow's Nest
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General manager: Joe Wallman
Editor-in-chief: Peter Brady
Production editor: Percy Henry
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The South Australian Grower is a Stock Journal
publication. 123 Greenhill Road, Unley SA 5061
Winter w 18 By PETER BRADY
INDEPENDENT horticultural consultant
Trevor Ranford says the industry needs to
be vigilant despite Federal Government
funding levels for horticultural research and
development "more or less" being left at
"If you go across 2011 budget, there has
been a slight increase in the level of funding,
with the dollar-for-dollar commitment still in
place," he said. "But it appears they (Federal
Government) haven't reviewed the draft
Productivity Commission report on R&D
corporations -- proposing the removal of dol-
lar-for-dollar funding over a 10-year period --
and other major savings," Mr Ranford said.
"So there is still a level of uncertainly for
industry about whether or not it will be
Mr Ranford said there would be flow-on
effects from about $60 million in cuts to
agricultural R&D during the next three
years. Peak horticultural bodies would need
to stay engaged to prevent any erosion in
"As the jobs of people responsible for a
range of programs disappear because of less
funding, there is a real need to be involved,"
Mr Ranford said.
"The rhetoric suggests that it will be very
important for industry to keep up the com-
Trevor Ranford says peak horticultural
bodies will need to stay engaged to prevent
any erosion in government commitments to
munication and play a big role in the process."
Mr Ranford, who has 33 years of experience
representing SA horticulture across a range of
commodities -- said many horticultural indus-
tries were under pressure from environmental
disasters, cheaper imports - because of the
excessively strong Australian dollar -- increasing
margin pressure in export markets, peri-urban
expansion and the proposed new carbon tax.
Horticultural industries needed greater invest-
ment, not less, in areas such as R&D.
He said Australian and international reports
had recognised that to achieve food security
in coming decades there needed to be a well-
funded and effective R&D network.
Horticulture was a major Australian agricul-
tural industry worth about $7.8 billion, cov-
ering fr uit, nuts, vegetables and nursery (but
excluding winegrapes). Horticultural exports
in 2009 were valued at $1168 million.
Mr Ranford said food security was one of
the most important issues facing Australia
and all global countries. The success of past
food production and food security had been
based around strong and effective R&D.
Communication activities, such as study
tours and industry conferences, were valu-
able to the capacity-building within industry
and by individuals, organisations and busi-
nesses contributing voluntary levies. They
showed a commitment to the industry.
"It is not about getting a 'free ride'," Mr
Ranford said. "If R&D funds continue to be
cut, many horticultural industries will strug-
gle to be competitive and small and medium
businesses will go to the wall."
Need to know more?
Trevor Ranford, Independent Horticultural
Consultant, 0417 809 172 or firstname.lastname@example.org
• Create a new RDC, 'Rural Research
Australia' , to sponsor non industry
specific rural R&D.
• Leave industry-specific RDCs to focus on
research of direct benefit to levy payers.
• Progressively build up government funding
for RRA to about $50m a year
(with additional funding provided for any
research responsibilities transferred from
• Over 10 years, reduce government funding
for the existing, industry-specific, RDCs to
half the current rate.
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