Improving the profitability & sustainability of Esperance port zone grain growers
Project timeline - October 2018 - March 2019

Six main activities were completed in the delivery of this project:

i) Supply Chain Study and Local Pulse Export Facilitation

The project looked at a number of likely common destinations around the world for Esperance grain and priced all the options available to Esperance growers to get tonnage to those destinations.

In 2017/18 SEPWA worked with EQG to undertake an investigation into the feasibility of using containers to export grain directly from the Esperance Port.  The ‘EQG – A New Export Link for the South East’ project found this was a viable option and the first pulse containers were exported in May 2018. 

ii) Pulse Study Tour to Pakistan and India
The Indian sub-continent is the biggest producer, as well as the biggest consumer of pulses in the world. Six growers and the project officer travelled to Pakistan and India and met with buyers, processors and industry leaders. They also attended 3 pulse conferences and gained a significant amount of knowledge and valuable grain marketing contacts.

iii) Pulse Study Tour to Eastern Australia
Eleven growers and two project officers travelled to Victoria to look at pulse growing, storing, processing, packing and exporting in the oldest pulse growing region in Australia. The tour also visited two pulse manufacturing plants to gain an understanding of how the raw product ends up as a retail product.

iv) Local Industry Capacity Building  
The project enabled a number of PASE committee members to attend GTA courses as part of their upskilling. Overall, 3 members attended 3 courses throughout the project. All GTA courses were also completed by the Project Officer. Several compliance and governance meetings were held. Additionally, two Staff Management Training Courses were conducted that were attended by local growers.

The project also facilitated discussion regarding pulse marketing options for EPZ including whether a local entity was required to support trade. Consultation was undertaken with local legume growers about the formation of a distributing Co-operative, including the preparation of a draft constitution.

v) Pulse Viability Analysis for Agronomic and Economic Adoption
Pulse samples were tested across the Esperance Port Zone (EPZ), in particular, lentils. This was the first time there had been a study of this kind done in the EPZ. The results were published in the SEPWA Newsletter (February 2019, Issue 95) and published on the PASE website.
In addition, a pulse profitability calculator has been developed and placed on the PASE website to enable growers to calculate the commercial viability of growing pulses.

vi) Storage Options
An evaluation of legume storage options has been completed and has been placed on the PASE website to support grower decision making with regards to investment in storage infrastructure to enhance legume marketing options. The volatility of legume markets is well understood and the need for analysis of the costs and benefits of different storage options to enhance marketing options was highlighted during the project’s Victorian tour, where local growers and processors shared their experiences.

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