A Central Queensland seed grading facility will upgrade its on-farm infrastructure and support up to 32 regional jobs with a funding boost from the Palaszczuk Government.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said Allenden Seeds was one of 14 businesses in Queensland to receive a Rural Economic Development (RED) Grant of up to $250,000 to fund the expansion of their business.
“Allenden Seeds is one of only two seed grading companies between Burdekin and Dalby,” Mr Furner said.
“Primarily producing mungbean for human consumption, Allenden Seeds diversify their facility to grade and pack wheat, chickpea, lablab, millet, cowpea and Leucaena.
“International demand allows for their mungbean and chickpea products to be exported to markets in China, India, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Europe and Canada.
“The funding will be used to upgrade current infrastructure and increase the grain storage and handling capacities of the business.
“We know the COVID-19 pandemic has made it tough for a lot of businesses and communities, so these additional jobs will be most welcome.”
Company director Sydney Allenden said the implementation of the new infrastructure would allow the company to increase its grain throughput by 50%.
Mr Allenden said up to 32 jobs would be created directly and indirectly through the project.
“Allenden Seeds is currently unable to meet grower demand for storage and grain processing and our existing infrastructure limits the productivity of our company,” Mr Allenden said.
“Our limited storage means we have to turn away many growers from North and Central Queensland areas, who then have no option other than to transport their grain south, which is considerable financial burden to them and also a significant economic loss for this demographic.
“In the first stage of this project we will install 10 new 180 tonne silos to increase our storage capacity by 1800 tonnes.
“The new gravity table will be capable of processing up to 15 tonne per hour and will completely replace the four separate gravity tables we currently have installed.”
The Rural Economic Development (RED) Grants program offers emerging projects up to $250,000 in co-contributions to build industry and grow employment opportunities across the agricultural sector. The $10 million grants program provides for three funding rounds over a three-year period ending 2021.
A total of 14 businesses have received $3.34 million under the second round of funding for the RED Grants program. Overall these 14 projects are expected to create more than 600 jobs across the agricultural sector in regional Queensland.
Funding for Round 3 of the RED Grants will be announced later this year.
The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) administer the RED Grant scheme on behalf of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.