Re­gion’s agri­cul­ture might add to for­tunes

Pilbara News - - State Election 2017 - Tom Zaun­mayr

In­dus­try in the Pil­bara could play a key role in de­vel­op­ing WA’s agri­cul­ture stocks as the State looks to di­ver­sify away from the tra­di­tional mining-based mar­ket.

Lib­eral Mem­ber for Mining and Pas­toral Re­gion Mark Lewis said Yara’s oper­a­tion on the Bur­rup Penin­sula was a prime ex­am­ple of a busi­ness with po­ten­tial to ease freight and other in­put costs for agri­cul­ture.

“Most of the Yara prod­uct now is ded­i­cated to blow­ing stuff up in the mines but I’ve al­ways thought about it as a nec­es­sary fit for agri­cul­ture as we grow our busi­ness up in the north from the Ord right down to here in the cen­tral Pil­bara,” he said.

“We need a whole heap of urea, we need tech­ni­cal-grade am­mo­nium ni­trate, and they are now start­ing to think of that as an al­ter­na­tive op­tion, al­beit a smaller op­tion, but some­thing which can broaden their busi­ness base.

“We can con­nect them up with CBH and pro­vide tech­ni­cal grade am­mo­nium and urea back into the Wheat­belt.”

Mr Lewis said Yara’s pro­posed Sa­hara For­est project could be a global hub for arid farm­ing re­search and de­vel­op­ment. WA Farm­ers pres­i­dent Tony York said WA must be more flex­i­ble and adapt­able to cap­i­talise on agri­cul­tural op­por­tu­ni­ties.

The in­dus­try body is ad­vo­cat­ing for a $10.5 mil­lion in­vest­ment into an in­te­grated part­ner­ship in­sti­tu­tion for WA live­stock and pas­ture re­search.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Lib­eral Mem­ber for Mining and Pas­toral Mark Lewis.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.