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Helping Agriculture Seize Opportunities of Asian Century

28 May 2013

AUSTRALIA - A new A$28.5 million Asian Food Markets Research Fund will create new opportunities for Australian agriculture and food industries in Asia and boost rural research and development.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, said the fund was part of the National Food Plan’s aim to create new opportunities in Asia.

“Australia’s farmers and food producers are on the doorstep of exciting new opportunities,” Minister Ludwig said.

“With the rise of Asia, there is enormous potential for Australia to be a supplier of high quality food.

“The Gillard Government will support Australian businesses to seize the opportunities in the Asian century by offering A$19.7 million in grants.”

The Asian Food Markets Research Fund will also fund key research and development projects including What Asia Wants and Moving Food.

“A goal of the National Food Plan is to increase the value of Australia’s agriculture and food-related exports by 45 per cent by 2025,” Minister Ludwig said.

“Only by investing in targeted research and development can we achieve this goal. The fund builds on the Gillard Government’s continued investment in rural research and development, including the A$1.4 billion worth of support provided over the last six Budgets.

“Research and development investment means Australia can continue to be a world-leader in innovation and productivity.”

The fund will include grants for projects, like those which commercialise new products suitable for Asian markets, develop new ways to process, package and export products for Asian markets, conduct market research, or undertake research to overcome market hurdles, such as quarantine constraints.

Grants under the fund will be targeted to priority markets and sectors, which will be determined in consultation with key industry groups and DAFF agricultural counsellors based in key Asian markets.

A call for grant applications will be made later this year.

TheCropSite News Desk

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