Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said more than 25,000 farmers had already sought information from the recently established $13.8 million Farm Co-Operatives Centre of Excellence at Southern Cross University.
“The Centre has proved itself to be a great success. It has already helped many thousands of farmers and farmer groups,” he said.
“Next month it will announce about $4 million of projects that will help strengthen the co-operative sector across Australia.
“When I was appointed to lead a taskforce on developing a program to strengthen the country’s co-operatives, our local co-ops approached me with an idea that I thought should be expanded into a new Centre of Excellence at Southern Cross University.
“Only about one year after the centre was established, it was already proven to be of great benefit to farmers wanting to increase their farmgate prices.”
The Centre’s notable milestones are:
- Establishment of www.farmingtogether.com.au website to assist farmers and potential co-operatives
- 709 farmer groups (representing 16,000 farmers) and farmers have accessed information and engaged in an online self-assessment process
- More than 7000 farmers and interested parties receiving monthly e-newsletter
- 250 farmer groups received expert advice and support from independent panel of experts
- 66 applications for funding under Round 1 of the Farmer Group Projects. (About $4 million in successful project to be announced in June
- Round 2 applications for Farmer Group Projects expect to open mid-2017