The University of Western Australia will partner in a new agricultural science collaboration designed to reinvigorate Western Australia’s agricultural research and development capabilities.
The newly-launched WA Agricultural Research Collaboration (the Collaboration) brings together leading researchers from UWA, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Australia’s national science agency CSIRO, Curtin University, Edith Cowan University and Murdoch University.
The Collaboration will build on current research efforts to harness and apply cutting edge science and expertise to Western Australia’s unique challenges and opportunities. It will also assist WA primary producers to adopt new agricultural technologies across grains, livestock and irrigated agriculture.
Backed by a Western Australian Government investment of $25 million over three years, the Collaboration will attract additional funding from participants and other funders, including industry-based research and development corporations.
Six programs have been identified, with the first three focused on boosting agricultural productivity and profitability in the face of a changing climate. The first will be to increase the gross value of production through intensification of agriculture by 2030 by focusing on sustainable growth of irrigated agriculture and the northern beef industry.
The second, to transform the WA grains industry to achieve an average 25 million tonne crop per annum by 2035. And the third, to address climate change through technologies that can deliver maintain agricultural productivity while reducing agricultural carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2035.
The three further programs will act as integrating initiatives to support growth and long-term sustainability of WA’s agricultural industry and will be focused on agricultural technologies, Aboriginal participation and capacity building for growers.
UWA Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Anna Nowak said the University is delighted to be part of the Collaboration, which will also support opportunities for the next generation of leading scientists to develop larger programs of work with industry-supported postgraduate positions.
“WA is world-class producer of high-quality agriculture, food and fibre products which are vital to our State’s economy and the lifeblood of regional and rural communities and we look forward to collaborating across WA institutions and seeing our research help to accelerate outcomes across a whole range of initiatives,” Professor Nowak said.
Director of The UWA Institute of Agriculture, Hackett Professor Kadambot Siddique said the new collaboration will not only help WA farmers but also advance WA’s agricultural science at a global level.
“Increased investment in agricultural education and innovative research will help drive the WA economy forwards over the next two decades,” Professor Siddique said.
The Collaboration is expected to be fully operational in early 2023.
Liz McGrath (UWA Media Advisor) 0433 795 509