Building on GRDC review

The Land column

Building on GRDC Review

By Dan Cooper, Chair, NSW Farmers Grains Committee 

As growers in an international market, the key to our productivity and profitability has been our ability to roll out new production practices that increase yield, reduce input costs and control threats to our crops.

Since 1990, the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) has played a crucial role in investing on behalf of Australian farmers into the research, development and extension that has enabled them to innovate in their on-farm practices. 

NSW Farmers Grains Committee believes GRDC has done a great job over this time.

However the best time to plan for the future is always before the model is broken. 

As such the Grains Committee has welcomed the decision made by the GRDC in consultation with the grains representative organisation, Grain Producers Australia, to review its governance structure and the appointment of Marsden Jacobs to undertake the review.

Key to this review will be ensuring the decision making and implementation of grains industry R&D investments can stand up to the challenges of the future and continue to deliver outcomes to growers. 

These include the growing difficulties to commercial investment in agricultural R&D in Australia and internationally.

The review will examine possible changes to government policy that may impact on the GRDC’s ability to deliver for growers as a government owned corporation. 

It will also examine the strengths and weaknesses of other RDCs, including industry owned models such as the Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and Dairy Australia, to provide advice on whether these models would provide any advantages to the grains industry. 

NSW Farmers continues to affirm the performance of the GRDC in targeted and stable investment in R&D for the benefit of growers.

We have identified that it is critical to the future of GRDC that growers continue to be the centre of identifying where the GRDC should invest.

NSW Farmers will seek assurances that recommendations will enable the GRDC to maintain managerial prerogative in its financial management and employment practices.

Finally, NSW Farmers will be providing a recommendation that if an industry owned RDC model is to be considered that legislative arrangements will prohibit it from being privatised.

The Grains Committee is interested in hearing what our members think about the review.  Head to and leave a comment.

Contact: Justin Crosby

Phone: 1300 794 000

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