A funds pledge of $50 million helps secure research and development

WAGGA FOCUS:  Tim Sandford and Peter Jessop of NSW DPI visit Wagga on Wednesday.

WAGGA FOCUS: Tim Sandford and Peter Jessop of NSW DPI visit Wagga on Wednesday.

A PLEDGE worth $50 million will help to move primary production towards a $20 billion output target by 2020.

It is good news for the state and there are plenty of people here in the Riverina who are keen to talk up what it will mean for the region and the rural sector.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) director of research services Tim Sandford was in Wagga this week to discuss the funding.

“Today is about bringing farm and maintenance personnel together to discuss how best to go forward as a research organisation, and not least in the light of the announcement of $50 million in investment,” Mr Sandford said.

“The funding provides necessary infrastructure and equipment and allows (NSW DPI) to keep doing what they have done and to deliver the research programs for primary industries,” he said.

For Wagga the funding will further strengthen the region’s role as a leader in rural research and development.

“It ensures research done here has the capabilities going forward and the necessary investments for employees to remain competitive,” Mr Sandford said.

The visit of members of NSW DPI from throughout the state to Wagga coincided with some heavy downpours of rain.

Up to 40mm had fallen in the southern region overnight. And rain was continuing to fall as two bus loads of people arrived at the NSW DPI’s site at Wagga.

“We should schedule more of these get togethers if it is going to bring rain … we would certainly love to see more of that,” Mr Sandford said.

The visit included 40 NSW DPI research staff who were able to tour the fodder testing facility in Wagga before participating in a bus tour. The bus tour allowed for closer inspections of the field trials at the Wagga Agricultural Institute.