Funding boost underpins SA Drought Hub expansion

The South Australian Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub is being expanded following an injection of additional funding from the Australian Government.

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud has announced that extra funds will be allocated to the SA Drought Hub, led by the University of Adelaide, to enable it to undertake broader innovation activities – beyond drought.

Through $20 million in additional national funding, the Australian Government is expanding the focus of the eight Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs across the country to catalyse agricultural innovation, drive commercialisation and create jobs.

On behalf of the SA Drought Hub and its 59 partners, the Hub’s Interim Director, Professor Chris Preston, welcomed the announcement.

“The extra funding and broadening of the SA Drought Hub’s scope is an endorsement by the Australian Government of the importance of our Hub and its pivotal role in delivering research innovations to strengthen the resilience of farmers and regional communities,” Prof Preston said.

“Following a recent series of collaborative regional workshops across the state involving hundreds of participants, the SA Drought Hub is well down the path of developing the co-design activities for drought resilience that will be delivered through the Hub.

“While this work will remain the immediate priority for the SA Drought Hub, the announcement by the Australian Government offers exciting new opportunities for the Hub and its partners to deliver innovation in other aspects of agriculture.”      

Federal Member for Grey, Rowan Ramsey, said the Roseworthy-based SA Hub would become the flagship for agricultural innovation in this state.

“The Hub will continue to support farmers and communities right across South Australia, with its nodes located at Minnipa, Port Augusta, Orroroo, Loxton and Struan,” Mr Ramsey said.

“The Hub provides a physical platform for stakeholders from across our great state to come together and translate research and knowledge to make real impacts on the ground.

“The SA Drought Hub already has a fantastic partner network of grower groups, universities, government, agribusinesses, industry RD&E partners and industry bodies and organisations, all working together to achieve great outcomes for our farmers and communities.”

The Hub partners are injecting $11.47 million of cash and in-kind support into the SA Drought Hub – in addition to the initial $8 million of funding over four years from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.

Having recently appointed Tony Randall as its Roseworthy-based Knowledge Broker, the SA Drought Hub will soon appoint a permanent Director, node coordinators and a node team leader – further boosting SA regional employment and investment.

Shopfronts for each of the nodes will also be established over the coming months.

For more information about the expanded role of the Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs, go to https://bit.ly/3DgtSz2.

More information about the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund is available at www.agriculture.gov.au/fdf