South Australian saleyards and red meat processing facilities are being encouraged to apply for grants of up to $200,000 to purchase and install electronic identification (eID) systems to help improve productivity for the red meat and wool sector.
The Technology Assistance Grants (TAG) program provides a rebate for up to 50 per cent of costs for eID infrastructure and associated activities, including external industry advice and staff training, to saleyards and red meat processors that fit eligibility criteria.
The TAG program is part of the South Australian Government’s $7.5 million Red Meat and Wool Growth Program.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said accelerating the uptake of eID infrastructure in saleyards and red meat processing facilities is aimed at driving productivity outcomes.
"South Australia’s red meat and wool sector generates $2.4 billion each year in production and processing revenue and supports 30,000 jobs," said Minister Whetstone.
"The Technology Assistance Grants are about supporting a vital industry to the South Australian economy to grow and become more productive and competitive."
"By providing grants to encourage uptake of eID infrastructure in saleyards and red meat processing facilities, we believe it will help to stimulate further investment in the technology through the red meat and wool value chains.
"Reliable data capture opens opportunities for improvements across the supply chain. The adoption of eID infrastructure in saleyards and processing facilities will improve transparency and traceability of individual animals within the value chain providing biosecurity and market access advantages. It can also lead to increased efficiencies in saleyards and processing operations.
"Farmers using eID will be able to link the data generated by saleyards and processors to their on-farm decision making and enable them to modify their management practices to improve productivity and product quality outcomes.
"The $7.5 million Red Meat and Wool Growth program focusses on rebuilding and growing the state’s herd and flock, improving cattle and sheep quality and productivity, improving on-farm decision making and enhancing biosecurity, while also helping regional areas of South Australia become more prosperous.
"Individual animal identification has driven improvements for cattle and can do the same for sheep.
"Recent research from Meat and Livestock Australia highlighted every dollar invested in EID to improve breeding and selection decisions in Merino and crossbred sheep operations delivers producers up to a $4.12 return."
Applications for the Red Meat and Wool Growth Program Technology Assistance Grants open on 9 April 2020 and close at 5pm on 13 June 2020.