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Getting to know Australia’s rice industry

Assistant Federal Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Luke Hartsuyker, has toured one of the largest rice mills in the southern hemisphere in Deniliquin, NSW, while in the region for a meeting of the Agricultural Industry Advisory Council.

Federal Minister Hartsuyker said the visit to SunRice’s Deniliquin Mill provided a great opportunity to speak first-hand with those involved in Australia’s rice industry about industry priorities and challenges.

“Australians love their rice, the average Aussie eats an estimated 13 kilograms of it each year. But the industry doesn’t just contribute to a balanced diet—it also makes an important contribution to our economy. In 2015-2016, SunRice, as one of Australia’s largest branded food exporters, generated almost $800 million in revenue from exports and overseas markets,” Federal Minister Hartsuyker said.

“Australia’s rice producers have good reason to be proud of their industry. Figures from the RiceGrowers Association of Australia show Australian growers produce more rice per hectare than anywhere else in the world.

“Our rice industry is also a world-leader in water use efficiency, using 50 per cent less water than the global average from paddock to plate.

“And this figure continues to get even better, thanks to the industry’s commitment to continuous improvement, including developing high yielding rice varieties that use less water, and utilising the world’s best management practices.

“The Federal Government recognises the importance of our agricultural industries in our wealth and way of life. That is why we are committed to working with the sector to continue to put in place practical policies and programmes backed with genuine investment, that help put our agricultural industries in a strong position into the future.

“While on the ground here in the Riverina for the Agricultural Industry Advisory Council meeting, I’ve also been pleased to visit the historic Lawson Syphons, and The Drop hydro plant, the first hydroelectric scheme in Australia to be built on an irrigation channel. This plant generates clean, renewable energy without impacting the water flow to the 2,600 farms supplied from the channel.

“I look forward to continuing to work closely with our agricultural industries to help them realise a bright and prosperous future.”

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