A strong opportunity exists to develop greenhouse farming in the Collie region and surrounds, according to a new study commissioned by the Western Australian Government.
The pre-feasibility study examined the potential for a range of intensive horticulture crops grown under greenhouse conditions, also known as protected cropping, with a focus on export
The study found Collie’s competitive advantages, including access to existing heat, power and water resources, place the region in good stead to support the development of a high-value protected cropping industry with an export focus.
Economic analysis carried out on a 10-hectare development of two horticulture crops, truss tomatoes and strawberries, showed promising returns and strong opportunities for employment.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development engaged Arris consultants to undertake the study.
Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said WA was already a reputable supplier of agricultural produce to international
markets and is well positioned to grow its fresh produce exports.
“This pre-feasibility study was in response to community interest in horticulture as an emerging industry for the area," Ms MacTiernan said.
“The report outlines the advantages offered by Collie through access to existing power and heat sources, as well as a nearby labour force and options for cost competitive land.
“We are now looking at how we can encourage development of protected cropping in the South-West.”