Coal Seam Guar – the most important agricultural product you may never have heard of

I’m currently in Canberra attending the ABARES 2013 Outlook Conference and I must say I’m very impressed by the organisation of the conference and the program. The highlight of the first day for me was the presentation by Tony Matchett of the Australian Guar Company on “Guar – a new industry for Australia’s arid North.” Guar apparently is an important ingredient in the fracking gel used in coal seam gas mining. Tony cited some incredible figures on the amount of guar Australia imported in 2012 – 6.5M kg compared with just over 5M kg in the seven years 2005-11, which goes to show just how massively the CSG industry has grown over the last year. Tony is trying to establish a domestic guar industry, with some help from some savvy agribusiness gents from Texas, and let’s hope he’s able to do so (with minimal assistance from the Government, of course). This is potentially a big deal for Central, North and Far North Queensland, which provide the best conditions for commercially growing guar in Australia. Good luck, Tony!

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