An Australian Government Initiative

Regional Development Australia

RDA Central West report adds value to region's agriculture industry

07 October 2016

RDA Central West (NSW) has published its much anticipated Value Adding to Agriculture in Central West NSW report, highlighting the innovative ways in which farmers and agribusinesses are value adding to agriculture.

Among 30 key observations, the report found that Central West NSW is ideally placed to become a major innovation hub for research and the application for biotechnology in agriculture.

"As the world's population increases to nine billion by 2050, agriculture has never been more important," said RDA Chair, Alan McCormack.

"This region is defined by its broad range of high quality agricultural produce. It may be difficult to compete with Asia on price, but we can most certainly compete on quality and uniqueness by value adding to our agricultural produce."

The report focuses on individual agribusiness case studies within Central West NSW, from a biotech start-up in Orange using agricultural waste streams to create nutraceutical ingredients, to a wool broker in Canowindra who developed a simple but ingenious method to show and sell wool samples using digital technology. Twenty farmers and agribusinesses across the region were interviewed for the report.

Key observations include:

  • The majority of businesses actively trading in Central West NSW are in agriculture;
  • Central West NSW is ideally placed to be an innovation hub for research and the application of biotechnology in agriculture;
  • Connectivity to market is a key challenge for Central West NSW agricultural Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs);
  • China is a rapidly growing market for Australian horticultural products. Under ChAFTA, tariffs on horticultural produce will be progressively eliminated. This represents new opportunities for the Central West NSW region's already strong horticultural sector.

To download a copy of the report or for more information, please visit the RDA Central West website.