Capacity Building and Stored Grain Research

Project Number

3025

Project Type & Status

Core-Complete

Project Leader

Grain and silos

Impact Delivery Themes

Capacity Building and Stored Grain Research

Final Report Summary

During the early years of the previous CRC for National Plant Biosecurity (CRCNPB), in consultation with the grains industry, it was identified that western grain zones, responsible for the majority of Australia’s grain exports, had gaps in capacity in key areas such as postharvest storage and handling and biosecurity issues related to export. These gaps had been exacerbated by the closure of the CSIRO Stored Grain Research Laboratory (SGRL) which had provided technology support to the national grain industry in issues of storage.

In response, in late 2008 CRCNPB supported the development of a Principal Scientist position at the Western Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) with secondment arrangements with Murdoch University to provide leadership and management in stored grain research. The contract was authorised in 2009 for a period of three years (CRC50512). The position was duly created and an international selection process concluded with Dr YongLin Ren as the successful applicant.

The position was extended for a further three years under PBCRC (CRC3025) with a focus on transition arrangements with DAFWA at the end of this period to secure long-term support for the position post PBCRC funding.

The PBCRC investment sought the following outcomes:

  • To build national research capabilities in the area of post-harvest grains.

  • To manage and deliver a PBCRC project portfolio of post-harvest grains research and other research fields as approved by the PBCRC (delivery of each project may be governed by separate PBCRC project agreements)

Both outcomes were achieved with Dr (now Professor) Ren establishing a postharvest biosecurity and food safety research laboratory, which is WA’s first research and development facility dedicated to stored grain. The project has significantly and successfully built a research, development, extension, education and training (RDEE&T) capacity and capability in post-harvest biosecurity and food safety.

Other key achievements have been:

  • The development and execution of twelve PBCRC post-harvest grain research investments

  • The development of three new collaborative relationships with Chinese government research and policy agencies

  • The supervision of one Honours student (complete) and 13 postgraduate students (2 currently complete; 11 active)


Impact

This PBCRC investment has built capacity in western grain zones and delivered research outcomes that underpin Australia’s grain exports and safeguard trade. The investment has received strong support from the Western Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Food and Murdoch University to provided leadership and management for its stored grain research team.

A key achievement for industry has been the establishment of the Postharvest Biosecurity and Food Safety facility which represents WA’s first research and development facility dedicated to stored grain. The investment has successfully built a research, development, extension, education and training (RDEE&T) capacity and capability in post-harvest biosecurity and food safety which the grains industry can access and draw upon. The achievements in capacity building are of particular importance when viewed in light of the closure of the CSIRO Stored Grain Research Laboratory which had provided technology support to Australia's national grain industry biosecurity and market access processes.

This PBCRC capacity investment has played a critical role in providing industry with continuity in research, focused on supporting market access, safeguarding trade, and the development and training of the next generation of grain researchers.

Download the full Final Report

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