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NSW Government to modernise the exports of rice

28 May 2024

The NSW Government announced it will introduce a Bill to the State Parliament to end statutory rice export marketing (‘vesting’) arrangements by 1 July 2025.

The NSW Government believe it will usher in a new era of greater opportunity and innovation for the rice industry.

The legislation will be introduced to Parliament in June in hopes of enhancing the long-term viability of the state’s rice industry, which had an estimated farm gate value of $219 million in 2022-23.

This is an important step in bringing new opportunities to the agriculture sector and in ensuring regulations do not hinder industry growth.

The contents of the bill came from rice growers from across NSW who called for the end of statutory rice export marketing (‘vesting’) arrangements.

“The NSW Government while drafting a Bill to modernise the state’s rice marketing arrangements received requests from rice growers in southern NSW to end statutory rice export marketing, the ‘vesting’ arrangements, sooner rather than later.

“Discussions with rice growers across the state demonstrated to the Government there was agreement that a transition in rice export marketing be brought forward to 1 July 2025,” said NSW Minister for Agriculture Tara Moriarty.

Under the Government’s Bill the Rice Marketing Board to be wound up by 1 July 2026.

The NSW Government’s already announced position to exclude the northern rivers growing region from current vesting arrangements from 1 September 2024 will be retained.

The decision to deregulate the industry comes at a time when rice growers are well-placed to take advantage of the new marketing opportunities.

The decision to remove rice vesting also aligns with the recommendations in the recently published Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resources Economics and Sciences Independent Report into Rice Vesting.

Under the future arrangements, growers will be afforded greater choice and flexibility to pursue a range of markets, including export markets.

It will also benefit the long-term sustainability of the industry in the face of lower water availability and a more variable climate.

The NSW Government is committed to ensuring that the industry is supported and will work with the present sole and exclusive export licence holder, SunRice.

This collaboration will help resolve the access to rice seed aspect of the present arrangements and enable a supported transition for the sector.

An expert Rice Transition Group which will be led by the NSW Department of Primary Industries and will focus on:

  • R&D opportunities to support alternate supply chains
  • Ensuring seed supply is maintained for all rice growers
  • Unwinding the affairs of the Rice Marketing Board once vesting ends
  • Investigating regional development opportunities.

This change to rice marketing arrangements reflects similar deregulation that has occurred over the past decades to other agricultural commodities including wheat, barley and dairy.

Source : foodmag