GROWTH potential for WA’s arable land investors was outlined in an industry snapshot released last month.
The WA arable crops industry guide has been made available by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).
This guide gives a snapshot of the industry for potential stakeholders and investors.
WA is the largest producer of barley and canola in the southern hemisphere and the second highest for wheat and oats.
“Our State’s grains industry is our biggest agricultural earner, with exports of grains, pulses, oilseeds and animal feeds valued at $5 billon annually over the past five years, and is in a unique poistions to grow,” Department of Trade and Industry Development director Courtney Draper said.
The arable crops guide focused on four investment themes encouraging growth in WA which included: investing in crop yields, investing in new processes and systems, investing in further processing ingredients and investing in improving infrastructure.
Ms Draper said investment was important in enabling the State’s agriculture and food industries to reach their full potential and seize global demand opportunities.
The guide, prepared by Coriolis Research, provides stakeholders and investors with a detailed understanding of the industry and an overview of its opportunities.
There are 11,177 farmers in WA and more than 4500 grain growers, although these numbers may change with an increasing demand for Australian grain from Asia and the Middle East.
WA is the closest and most accessible broadacre, rangelands and mediterranean climate zone to Asia according to the report, with a similar if not the same time zone.
The benefits of WA is the distance in which the grain travels when exported, which is reported to be no more than 23 days.
The report states that WA exports have grown by four per cent in the past 21 years.
“As the report points out, Asia accounts for almost two thirds of the global arable crop products trade, with many markets growing at double digit rates,” Ms Draper said.
Premium Grain Handlers manager John Orr said the guide was designed to identify areas where agriculture could grow and which companies are involved in the agriculutural sector.
“We can verify that their report is identifying growing areas and we can see it with our oat exports, meaning that growers can consider increasing their oats and their production,’’ Mr Orr said.
“Our customers are telling us demands for oats is growing and is expected to grow into the future.”
According to the report, WA has three qualities that drive the demand for grain – diversity, consistent quality and innovation.
Australian grain is produced in one of the cleanest environments in the world with no tolerance for live insects in exports.
The report comments on the reputation Australian grain has on a global scale, with ‘Brand Australia’ being the umbrella that represents strong biosecurity and high levels of food safety across the nation.
The guide is used to demonstrate the facts and figures behind the success of broadacre cropping in WA, stating there was 5pc growth in arable crop production between 1955 and 2000.
In the past 15 years, arable production has increased by 1pc.
The average hectares of wheat grown has increased by 4pc since 1956 and the tonnage increased 4.5pc from the same year.
Investment into WA agriculture is already occurring with CBH investing $750m over five years for large scale network improvements and Gilmac Hay investing $3.5m this year to build new hay facilities.
The snapshot report is available from the DPIRD website.