THE Grower Group Alliance (GGA) has welcomed the Australian government's significant expansion of the scope and scale of the South West WA Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub (SW WA Hub).
"This is a fantastic endorsement of the capacity of the SW WA Hub, which is led by the GGA, to deliver real impact onground in the area of agricultural innovation and to deliver regionally-focused activities," said GGA chief executive officer Niki Curtis.
"The SW WA Hub leverages the GGA's 'hub and spoke' model - a network of more than 60 grower groups representing about 4000 farm enterprises - facilitating collaboration 'from the ground up'.
"It is building further on the unique GGA network by establishing connections with researchers, technology developers, investors, producers and agribusinesses.
"Collaboration is key to strengthening impact and increasing adoption."
Federal Agriculture and Northern Australia Minister David Littleproud last week announced Australia's eight Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs would be given $20 million in additional funding.
This includes $2.5m for the SW WA Hub.
The funding builds on the $66m commitment to the hubs in April this year, through the $5 billion Future Drought Fund, when the SW WA Hub was initially awarded $8m.
This expands the drought hubs from being just drought focused to being focused on agricultural innovation more broadly.
SW WA Hub director Tom Davidson said the hub expansion would provide an opportunity to deliver initiatives with greater impact across multiple areas that could help unlock productivity gains for local producers and benefit their communities.
"The timing of the announcement is very positive as the new SW WA Hub team has already embarked on a period of extensive consultation with its multiple partners and stakeholders," Mr Davidson said.
"The SW WA Hub has more than 50 partners, representing all segments of the supply chain for WA's southern agricultural growing region, that are providing cash and in-kind co-contributions worth several million dollars.
"Excellent foundations are in place for the SW WA Hub to help producers and their communities adapt to our variable environment and to accelerate innovation and adoption in our region."
The SW WA Hub's key location is at the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development's Merredin Dryland Research Institute.
Hub nodes are at Carnarvon, Geraldton, Northam, Bunbury, Manjimup, Albany, Katanning and Esperance.
- More information about the SWWA Hub is available at gga.org.au/activity/drought- innovation-hub and information about the Australian government Future Drought Fund is available at agriculture.gov.au/fdf