Federal government backs stronger foundations for agriculture with grants

With over $300 million stumped up in a Mid-Year Economic Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO)investment, it confirms the Federal government’s ongoing commitment to support the agriculture industry.

This year’s MYEFO builds on actions taken by the Federal Government to drive agriculture’s resilience, competitiveness, and growth in support of industry’s target of $100 billion in farmgate value by 2030.

Minister for Agriculture, and Northern Australia David Littleproud said over $300 million over 4 years was a significant investment in the priority areas to get Australians back into jobs, build resilience in the agricultural sector and revitalise the regions. Highlights include:

·      $100 million to support our exports and grow our markets

·      $84 million to further modernise and simplify our biosecurity system

·      $48 million to expand our Innovation Hubs and forestry industry research capability.

“Agriculture is playing a critical role in our nation’s economic recovery,” Minister Littleproud said.

“Our additional $13.2 million investment to extend the Agri-Business Expansion Initiative will keep our exporters on track to maximise their market access opportunities.”

“Agricultural production is on target to top an incredible $78 billion in 2021-22, a record for the industry.

“Our investment will drive the competitiveness, growth and resilience of the agriculture industry. It will deliver the tools required for producers to reach their goals.

“We are providing certainty for the future of the Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) by extending its loan funding for a further three years from 2023-24.

“We are also extending eligibility for the RIC AgriStarter loan product, which assists farmers with getting into first time farm ownership, to farmers currently share farming or leasing land.”

“This package is about supporting industry resilience and productivity, boosting innovation, and enhancing diversification, said Minister Littleproud.

“Thinking outside the square, we are also investing $8.5 million to expand our existing export system to allow certification of non-traditional agricultural products, starting with cosmetics.” 

“We are also building on our significant biosecurity budget investment with an additional $84.1 million to further modernise and simplify our biosecurity system and facilitate trade.

“And we are committing $68.4 million to support a national approach to traceability standards and credentials to support our exports and grow our markets, said Minister Littleproud.

“Our farmers and farming communities are playing a leading role in Australia’s economic recovery, creating rural and regional jobs, and we will continue to ensure that we are setting the foundations for industry to remain resilient and grow.”

For more information on MYEFO, visit here.

The 2021-22 MYEFO initiatives, including those previously announced:

$13.2 million to extend the Agri-Business Expansion Initiative, building on the initial investment of $72.7 million 12 months ago, to boosting industry’s ability to diversify and expand their export markets, accelerating market access outcomes and improving market intelligence for exporters.

$8.5 million to expand the use of Australia’s export legislation to non-traditional agricultural products, starting with cosmetics, to support expansion and diversification of Australian exports.

$68.4 million to harmonise traceability standards and data, maximising ability of exporters to meet market demands and receive premium prices for their quality produce, through the Simplified Trade System agenda.

$9.7 million to contribute to the government’s Simplified Trade System agenda to align cross-border accreditation and authorisation schemes, standardise cross-border trade data sharing and support collaboration with trading partners on the removal of paper documents from the international trading system.

$30.0 million to build resilience to manage fruit fly through delivery of critical infrastructure.

$27.8 million to contribute to improving the clearance of international passengers through the digital collection of biosecurity information.

$13.2 million to deliver a portal to allow industry book biosecurity inspections online and manage changes to these bookings, through the Simplified Trade System agenda.

$12.0 million to progress important improvements to modernise biosecurity systems to allow faster and more targeted biosecurity clearance processes, through the Simplified Trade System agenda.

$1.1 million towards establishing national traceability arrangements for horses.

At the same time work is underway to deliver sustainable funding and investment into the biosecurity system, starting with fit for purpose cost-recovery fees and charges arrangements and refreshed compliance arrangements to remove unnecessary costs for government and business.

$7.0 million from the Future Drought Fund to expand climate information capabilities to support farmers and farming communities to understand how drought and other climate risks might impact them into the future, so they can take action to reduce those risks.

$4.1 million to develop drought indicators as part of a drought early warning system.

$13.2 million to establish a national voluntary biodiversity stewardship market in Australia, supporting new income streams for farmers who improve biodiversity outcomes on their land.

$35.0 million to expand the Horticultural Netting Program nationally to support producers protect their crops from extreme weather, pests, and water loss.

$21.7 million in additional funding for Innovation Hubs, expanding their role beyond drought resilience adoption, to support the National Agricultural Innovation Agenda and deliver regionally focused and responsive agricultural innovation.

$26.2 million (over 5 years) to support forestry industry research, innovation, and resilience.

$25.0 million in additional funding to support agricultural shows, field days and showmen and women impacted due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Extending existing loan funding for the Regional Investment Corporation for a further 3 years will ensure it can continue to provide concessional loans to farmers and agricultural small businesses. Extending eligibility for AgriStarter Loans will make them available to farmers leasing or share farming land from 1 April 2022, supporting these farmers to purchase land or develop their businesses.