Murdoch University joins collaboration to boost WA Agriculture

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This collaboration will see leading Murdoch University scientists working with other leading scientists from WA

Murdoch University is set to be part of the WA Agricultural Research Collaboration, which will reinvigorate Western Australia’s agricultural research and development capabilities significantly benefiting Western Australian farmers and consumers.

This collaboration will see leading Murdoch University scientists working with other leading scientists from Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Curtin University, Edith Cowan University and The University of Western Australia.

The Collaboration will build on current research efforts to harness and apply cutting edge science and expertise to Western Australia’s unique agricultural environmental challenges and opportunities.

It will also get behind WA primary producers to adopt new agricultural technologies across soils, grains, livestock and irrigated agriculture.

Murdoch University Professor Richard Harper, who provided an overview of the Climate Resilience Program at the Collaboration’s launch, says the Collaboration will enable significant additional research to establish ongoing development of WA primary industries supporting rural and regional communities.

“The Collaboration will build on Murdoch’s existing strengths in grains, animal, soil and climate mitigation research, development and training,” Professor Harper said.

“There are significant challenges from both the changing climate and operating environment, and this research will result in increased profitability across the agricultural sector.”

Backed by 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 missions focused on boosting agricultural productivity and profitability in the face of a changing climate.

The three programs are:

  1. Northern Agriculture: Increasing the gross value of production through intensification of agriculture by 2030 focusing on sustainable growth of irrigated agriculture and the northern beef industry.
  2. Grains Transformation: Transforming the WA grains industry to achieve an average 25 million tonne crop per annum by 2035, with 50% increase in fertiliser, crop protection and fuel input use efficiency.
  3. Climate Resilience: Addressing the impacts of climate change through technologies that can deliver future landscapes that maintain agricultural productivity while reducing agricultural carbon emissions by 50% by 2035.

The three further programs will act as cross-cutting 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.

The Collaboration will also support opportunities for the next generation of leading scientists to develop larger programs of work with industry-supported postgraduate positions.

The WA Agricultural Research Collaboration participants will be working together over the next six to 12 months to finalise the programs of work, governance structure and employ operational staff.

The Collaboration is expected to be fully operational in early 2023.
Posted on:

22 Jul 2022


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