Turn­ing pow­der into pro­duc­tiv­ity

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Just how good are we in the Wim­mera at mak­ing the most of our devel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties?

His­tory and our po­si­tion as a ma­jor in­ter­na­tional food pro­ducer sug­gest we have been good at it in the past.

And there seems to a feel­ing that, af­ter rest­ing on our lau­rels for quite a while, there is a re­newed mood to ex­plore new ideas and con­cepts.

The ques­tion is, how do we make the most of this en­cour­ag­ing sense of a need for progress?

Mar­ry­ing up some­thing hap­pen­ing some­where else with the po­ten­tial of our re­gion can be hard.

The re­al­ity is that cre­at­ing op­por­tu­nity needs con­sid­er­able thought and, im­por­tantly, a will­ing­ness to ex­plore ideas beyond the norm.

This type of think­ing has plenty of la­bels such as ‘out­side the square’, ‘left of cen­tre’ and so on.

It also rep­re­sents a crit­i­cal way for­ward and has al­ways been the cat­a­lyst for hu­man progress.

The re­al­ity is that it can take only one fan­ci­ful idea to take off to make a world of dif­fer­ence to an in­di­vid­ual, fam­ily, com­mu­nity, town, city, re­gion and state.

There were a few chuck­les in re­sponse to news from the CSIRO last week about a new pow­dered prod­uct made from waste broc­coli that could be used as an ad­di­tive to cof­fee.

‘Yuk!’ was a com­mon re­sponse by many but a deeper in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the prod­uct re­vealed the enor­mous mar­ket po­ten­tial of a much-maligned veg­etable.

Most of us recog­nise the health ben­e­fits of eat­ing broc­coli, one of the many nu­tri­ent-rich mem­bers of the cab­bage fam­ily. Some of us also en­joy eat­ing it, while oth­ers only in­dulge un­der suf­fer­ance or avoid it like the plague.

But as a rel­a­tively taste­less pow­der that main­tains all of its health val­ues and can be used as an ad­di­tive to ev­ery­thing from cof­fee, soups and ce­re­als? Now that’s dif­fer­ent and boy does it have po­ten­tial.

Value-adding

Hang on a minute! What does all this have to do with the Wim­mera?

Well, if we ap­ply the con­cept of mar­ry­ing a new idea or devel­op­ment into what we could do here then the con­cep­tual melt­ing pot starts bub­bling.

We know there are in­ves­ti­ga­tions into de­vel­op­ing a pulse-de­rived pro­tein-pow­der in­dus­try in Hor­sham dis­trict.

We also know that con­struc­tion has started on a world-first North­ern Grampians Bul­gana Green Power Hub that will com­bine re­new­able en­ergy with green­house hor­ti­cul­tural pro­duc­tion.

Pulses, pow­der and per­haps… hor­ti­cul­tural pro­duce? Is there a po­ten­tial re­la­tion­ship and there­fore a re­gional op­por­tu­nity?

Who knows? But it might be an op­por­tu­nity we risk hang­ing out, par­don the pun, to dry un­less we ask the ques­tion.

This is value-adding that we have all heard so much about and the way we should be think­ing about in de­vel­op­ing our re­gion.

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