A South-West nursery now has the equipment it needs to speed up propagation to meet demand from growers for high-quality grafted grapevines, with support from the McGowan Government.
Through the Regional Economic Development (RED) Grants, a total of $120,960 has made it possible for ARM Nursery in Capel to purchase state-of-the-art automatic grafting technology.
The machinery will increase the speed of the nursery propagation process, allowing a greater quantity of high-quality grapevine material to be produced to service the Western Australian market, with the potential to expand into the Eastern States markets.
Rootstock grown on-site is grafted with desirable scion material, including some new material that is originally sourced from overseas.
Up until now, the preparation of pieces for grafting had been carried out by hand, primarily by seasonal workers. The skills of workers can now be better used, with the improved efficiencies allowing staff to focus on high plant quality and consistency.
This provides the grape industry with opportunities to access new table and wine grape varieties for existing markets and the development of new markets.
More information about the RED Grants program, including guidelines and application details, are available at drd.wa.gov.au/rfr/REDG or through one of the State’s nine Regional Development Commissions.
As stated by Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“We’re continuing to deliver for regional businesses across a broad range of industries, including ARM Nursery, which benefited from a RED Grant.
“This is a great example of our RED Grants supporting a business to address a key issue in the viticulture sector – the need for investment into labour-saving devices to reduce the need for heavy and sometimes repetitive labour.
“In total, we’re investing $45.8 million over eight years in locally-driven projects to stimulate economic growth and development in regional Western Australia.”
As stated by Collie-Preston MLA Jodie Hanns:
“There are many innovative businesses right here in the South-West region, including ARM Nursery in Capel.
“The $120,960 provided through RED Grants has been a worthwhile investment, which will help ARM Nursery take its business to the next level.
“I am proud of the way the McGowan Government is supporting businesses in our local communities and look forward to seeing more success stories in the next round of grants.”