The northern Australian beef sector could see more than $3 billion in future industry investment flow into the sector over the next ten years, following the launch of the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia’s (CRCNA’s) latest project today.
CRCNA CEO Jed Matz said National Agricultural Day provided the perfect backdrop to announce the 10-month, $470,000 industry situational analysis study as it highlighted the important role agriculture plays in northern Australia’s future.
Speaking at the MLA’s Red Meat event in Canberra, Mr Matz said the project sees researcher CSIRO partner with the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association (NTCA), Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), AgForce Queensland, the Kimberley Pilbara Cattlemen’s Association (KPCA) and the Cattle Council of Australia (CCA) to examine the beef sector’s whole supply chain from on-farm production through to export markets.
The CRCNA has committed more than $181,100 in funding while industry participants have committed almost $290,000 in-kind funding towards the project.
“Today’s project is one of thirty agriculture-focused projects the CRCNA has committed to funding since we opened for business in October 2017,” he said.
“Developing the north’s capacity to expand and sustain profitable agricultural production is crucial to growing the northern Australian economy and is why the CRCNA invests in industry-led research in key agricultural sectors, like beef.”
Dr Chris Chilcott from CSIRO said the northern Australian beef situational analysis project will use proven economic and chain modelling tools to assess the impact of interactions along the sector’s value chain and identify key challenges and opportunities facing the northern Australian beef industry.
It will examine the industry’s current strategic plans and undertake extensive consultation with producers, industry groups, universities and government departments and deliver a report by mid-2019.
The draft report could inform the basis of the next Meat Industry Strategic Plan (MISP) and help peak industry bodies and stakeholders, including the CRCNA, develop their future strategic investment plans.
Michael Crowley, MLA General Manager, Producer Consultation and Adoption said the research will help shape future research investments that will benefit producers and the northern beef industry.
“By applying a consistent approach to the analysis of the recommendations, the beef industry will be better able to make an objective assessment regarding the best return on any future investment.”
Mr Matz said the significant contributions made by project participants is proof the project is well-supported.
“When you have key industry leaders and organisations stepping up to be a part of something bigger than themselves and commit staff or other in-kind resources to the project, it shows how important gaining a deep and broad understanding of their sector is to their business and to the northern Australian economy.”
The CRCNA’s northern Australia beef situational analysis project is one of eight industry situational analysis studies funded by the CRCNA in 2017/18. Other industries the CRCNA will examine as part of its commitment to informing broader discussions on further policy, investment, R & D for Ministerial Forum consideration include rice, forestry, cropping, bush foods, aquaculture, health and infrastructure and communications.