Failure of rice crop costs Riverina jobs

World rice prices have doubled in 12 months but that hasn’t helped Riverina growers.

Australia has recorded its smallest crop due to a lack of irrigation water.

The Riverina, NSW, is traditionally the country’s largest rice producer.

But in the past season just 30 of 2500 growers planted crops and the final harvest was down to just 18,000 tonnes.

As well, 180 SunRice will staff were put off, including 30 in Leeton Shire, NSW.

Council economic development manager, Peter Kennedy, says there is little he can do to soften the blow.

“The last three months have involved the final round of redundancies,” he said.

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