Brendon Cant brendon at iinet.net.au
Wed Sep 27 04:56:07 CEST 2006



It will come as no great surprise to most WA growers and rural observers
that there are an increasing number of grower groups throughout the state.


The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) supported Grower
Group Alliance (GGA) is one of several WA umbrella grower group


It recently held a forum where more than 60 people from grower groups,
agribusiness, research organisations and catchment councils discussed how to
build strong working relationships with each other.


After some serious brainstorming there was a general view that continued and
improved use of a collaborative approach to resources and knowledge would
provide more opportunities for future research.


The identified benefits of grower groups, research organisations and
industry working together included more relevant research projects through
using local knowledge and sharing resources, potentially leading to
accelerated adoption of new research in the paddock.


GGA co-ordinator Tracey Gianatti said mutual ownership of projects by all
stakeholders would help develop trust between project partners and improve
the communication of results.


The forum debated the role of grower groups in the future and what
opportunities were available for growers and industry to work together in
the next five years.


Ms Gianatti said the consensus was that grower groups would be instrumental
in setting research objectives and accessing research dollars in the future.
New collaborative projects would include multiple partners and utilise
non-traditional funding sources.


It was also highlighted that while grower groups would be instrumental in
facilitating change, they should also remain impartial.


The benefits to researchers from working with grower groups included access
to a large number of growers, providing research projects with economies of
scale and increased relevance to farmers needs.


Constraints for growers in partnerships included logistical problems, labour
and skill availability, with infrastructure and resources sometimes being


Some of the downsides for researchers evolved around ownership of knowledge,
cost sharing complexities and conflicting agendas between partners.


The Crop Doctor is GRDC Managing Director, Peter Reading, Tel 02 6272 5525

Further Information: Tracey Gianatti, Tel 08 6488 3410

GRDC REF: CDAUG063.doc/Fraser

Brendon Cant & Associates
Public Relations & Marketing 
Suite 5
4 Gugeri St
Claremont WA 6010
Tel 08 9384 1122



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