Federal member for Page Kevin Hogan said farmers and fishers have another fortnight to apply for a share of $2.2 million in small grants to increase industry capacity and support the adoption of productive management practices.
He said the small grants of between $5500 and $55,000 would contribute to the overall resilience, competitiveness and productivity of the region’s agriculture and fishing industries.
“The grants will assist farmers, fishers, community groups and farming systems groups to access and share best practice in their businesses,” Mr Hogan said.
“These grants will support the adoption of industry-wide best practice, from the introduction of new management practices in cropping and livestock industries, to the use of new technologies in dairy, aquaculture and fisheries.
“Ultimately, adopting appropriate management practices that increase production, improve product quality and/or lower input costs also help to drive returns back through the farmgate.
“Our farmers are some of our most dedicated conservationists and sustainable land managers. They manage pests and weeds, often at their own cost, to the benefit of the entire community. Weeds alone cost our farmers more than $3 billion every single year to control, and our farmers strive to pass on their land to future generations in a better condition than when they arrived.
“That’s why we need to help share knowledge and skills across the sector—to help farmers boost their productivity while better managing natural resources including soil, water quality and availability, and native vegetation.
“We want to fund activities like field days, workshops, conferences, demonstration events, training and skill development—activities that help develop innovative practices and more sustainable use of our natural resources within the broader agricultural community.
Applications for the National Landcare Programme Sustainable Agriculture Small Grants Round 2015–16 close at 2 pm AEDT Monday 7 December. For more information and to read the grant guidelines visit: www.nrm.gov.au/agsmallgrants.