This week, after a landmark decision given by the Parliament of the State, grain producers from South Australia shall soon have the opportunity of planting GM varieties of canola as well as GM varieties of various other crops as soon as they are available.
This decision has brought South Australia in line with other producers in different mainland states and has ended a moratorium going on for 16 years.
For the last 16 years, South Australian grain growers have been refused the benefits of accessing GM canola varieties such as herbicide tolerance, improved performance in the conditions of moisture stress, and increased plant vigour.
The moratorium was basically put in place so that it would preserve the clean and green image of south Australia and further allow the primary producers to get higher prices for their GM-free crops.
A professor of Emeritus, Kym Anderson, in an independent review, concluded that the approximate cost of the moratorium was putting the grain industry of South Australia about 33 million dollars out of pocket for the canola alone since the year2004, confirming that the moratorium was no longer serving as an advantage to the market of South Australia.
The lifting of the moratorium of SA does not include the Kangaroo Island because of its unique market for the non-GM canola which a group of producers from Kangaroo Island had established in Japan.
The Minister of Primary Industries of South Australia, Tim Whetstone said this reform would help in increasing the profitability of the farms and drought resilience, raise job opportunities in their regions, grow the economy of the state and also attract a greater research investment.
The President of Farmer and Grain Producers of South Australia, Wade Dabinett said that although it had taken very long for the moratorium to be lifted, it was still welcomed.