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Western Australian ag innovators eligible for $30,000 scholarships

by Terry Sim, 20 April 2017

WESTERN Australian agri-food innovators are being invited to apply for scholarships of up to $30,000.

The scholarships are available to farmers and innovators in the agriculture and aquaculture sector to foster entrepreneurship and innovation.

Science Minister Dave Kelly announced the opening of applications for round two of the State Government’s Agriculture and Aquaculture Entrepreneurship Program last week.

Successful applicants will need an innovative concept or idea within the fields of agriculture or aquaculture that has the potential to broaden the economy and to modernise the agri-food sector.

The program forms part of the Science and Agribusiness Connect initiative’s suite of programs designed to build the capability of the Western Australian agrifood sector.

Three scholarships of up to $30,000 are available in the current round to enable farmers and individuals engaged in the agriculture or aquaculture sectors to develop and pursue their idea or invention through exposure to international best practice and leaders in their field.

The program awarded $55,202 in scholarships in its first round to four WA farmers and innovators from across the sector. These included Steve Carr who was funded to travel to South Africa to study lime application for the management of sub-soil acidity; John Guest, who is researching opportunities to boost marron farming productivity; Chris Witt who is travelling to the United States and Europe to investigate drone technology for broadacre crop production, and; Julian Sharp who will investigate opportunities to establish a long-grown shiitake industry in south west WA. They will be returning to Western Australia and sharing their knowledge within their industries and regional WA later this year.

Mr Kelly said the McGowan Labor Government is committed to building the capability of the agri-food sector to further improve its long-term competitiveness and diversification in Western Australia.

WA Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said WA already has some of the brightest thinkers in agriculture and the scholarships will provide an opportunity for the state’s innovators to learn from the very best.

Applications for round two of the program close at noon AWST on May 31, 2017.

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