Australian Grain Export Pty Ltd’s Dublin packing facility is set to open new markets for local farmers following a grant of up to $2 million announced this month as part of the state governments’ Regional Growth Fund.
The fund has allocated $13 million to projects across regional South Australia in its second round, which will see AGE build a new plant to value-add to pulses delivered by growers from the Mid-North, Adelaide Plains, and Yorke Peninsula, and as far as the Eyre Peninsula.
Other projects to receive funds include a timber plant upgrade in the South East, the creation of a new resource recovery facility at Port Pirie and a new tourism and accommodation venue expansion in McLaren Vale.
AGE’s managing director Tim Martin said the company would, at a minimum, exceed the government’s funding themselves to the tune of another $2.6 million and likely spend in total $4.6 million on the project, which will enable AGE to confidently price and access further specialised markets for South Australian pulse growers.
“We’re building a splitting, sizing, bagging and cleaning operation that will enable us to compete in the export market with split products and bagged products,” Mr Martin said.
“We are literally enabling South Australian farmers to compete in markets they otherwise couldn’t.
“We’ve had an inability to service markets that need split product or clean product from South Australia, and this allows us to forward price and get into those markets.”
State Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, David Basham, said projects such as AGEs would not only directly boost local communities but would also have more wide-ranging benefits for the state.
“2020 has been a tough year for South Australians and our regions have been hit particularly hard, firstly with drought, then bushfires and now the coronavirus pandemic,” Minister Basham said.
“Regional South Australia will be critical to our economic recovery and the Marshall Liberal Government is building what matters to back businesses to create jobs.”