According to the Governor and Minister of Agriculture of Western Australia on January 25, Western Australia has approved the commercial use of genetically modified rapeseed.
New South Wales and Victoria in Australia have been able to grow genetically modified rapeseed commercially since 2008.
Currently, commercial use of GM rapeseed is still prohibited in South Australia.
Australian government officials said that farmers in Western Australia need to use advanced technologies such as transgenic technology to maintain international competitiveness.
In 2009, Western Australia conducted a series of commercial tests, and the per unit yield of transgenic rapeseed reached 1200 tons/ha. Farmers said that transgenic technology can effectively control weeds and reduce field management.
Alan Hill, policy director of the Western Australian Farmers Association, said that GM rapeseed could not replace traditional rapeseed. But transgenic rapeseed can better manage pests and diseases for some farmers, and improve yield and income.
Australian industry insiders said that there was no market access problem for GM rapeseed. The quantity of genetically modified rapeseed imported from Canada by Japan is four times that of non genetically modified rapeseed imported from Australia, but the price is the same. Japanese buyers mix non genetically modified rapeseed with genetically modified rapeseed, and then process them into rapeseed oil.
Other countries, such as China, South Korea and Bangladesh, are also major importers of GM rapeseed, which will also provide farmers in Western Australia with broader sales opportunities.
Western Australia is the main rapeseed producing area in Australia, and the rapeseed export revenue in 2008/09 reached 535 million Australian dollars.
The rapeseed output in Western Australia is expected to be 975000 tons this year, a decrease of 14% over the previous year.