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Source: New South Wales Department of Primary Industries

11 Dec 2020

As worldwide demand for Australian chickpeas soars, the NSW Government has today responded by investing in a $10 million research and development facility at Tamworth, which would boost production in new areas across the State and country.

Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall joined Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson at the NSW Department of Primary Industries Tamworth Agricultural Institute to announce the infrastructure investment, which would strengthen the State’s $15.7 billion agricultural industry.

“The investment will provide critical infrastructure for our researchers such as a temperature-controlled glasshouse, polyhouses, a processing laboratory, and seed sorting, grading and storage facilities,” Mr Marshall said.

“It is vital our researchers have the facilities they need and this new infrastructure will provide the springboard for insights for many years to come.

“Australia is now the largest exporter of chickpeas worldwide, and NSW accounts for almost half of the nation’s production and we are perfectly positioned to take advantage of growing demand for this versatile legume.

“If we can improve the performance of varieties such as desi and kabuli, as well as broaden their capacity to be grown into new growing areas in NSW and right across the country, it will ensure our State continues to be a premium exporter for chickpeas.

“These kinds of investments put our State at the forefront of the latest research, which is one of the most effective ways to ensure our primary producers maintain their competitive advantage, overcome challenges and are profitable now and into the future.”

The NSW Government will invest $5 million in the chickpea breeding facilities with matching funds also to be invested by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) as part of a broader $30 million chickpea funding package.

Mr Anderson said the Tamworth region was becoming a hub for legume production.

“The local community and economy will directly benefit from the workforce needed during the construction phase of the project and ongoing research and development activities at the Tamworth Agricultural Institute,” Mr Anderson said.

“Global demand is only increasing, and we want people from all countries to be eating Aussie chickpeas. Better yet, we want them eating chickpeas grown right here in NSW.”

GRDC Chair John Woods said the investment in new infrastructure was the latest in a long-standing collaboration between the Corporation and the NSW Government.

“Nationally, chickpea growers will benefit from new varieties developed in the program that are higher yielding, have increased disease resistance and are of exceptional quality,” Mr Woods said.

“Improved varieties that are adapted to growing conditions across a range of environments will allow production to occur in previously non-suitable areas as well as provide benefits into current production areas such as northern NSW.”

Media contact: Connor McGoverne | Minister Marshall | 0408 185 304, Angela Lyle | Mr Anderson | 0408 966 330