Horticulture growers can access $35 million to purchase and install protective netting

Horticulture growers will be able to access $35 million in Federal Government funding to purchase and install protective horticultural netting.

This is an expansion the Horticultural Netting Program trial that was set-up to provide assistance to growers Australia wide.

The expansion of the Horticultural Netting Program trial is in place to support resilience against climate change while improving the quantity and quality of crops to support the agricultural industry to reach its Ag2030 target of $100 billion in farmgate produce.

Protective netting, which can reduce the impact of weather events and pests, is a significant cost barrier for a lot of horticulturalists.

The Federal government advised that is why they are co investing in horticultural netting to secure Australia’s food supply while we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and recent natural disasters across the country.

It will ensure that producers can purchase and install new netting to protect their crops from extreme weather and predators, and increase water use efficiency.

Already the Horticultural Netting Program trial has allowed growers in South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria to supplement half the cost of purchasing and installing protective netting, enabling them to protect their crops and secure their investment.

The funding expands the trial nationally with allocated funding reflecting the level of horticultural production in each jurisdiction. The Federal Government says it is committed to building resilience and value in the horticulture.”

Horticulturalists will be able to apply for grants in coming months and the program will operate until 30 June 2025 or until all the funds are committed.

What is expected from the funding

·         $23.6 million in funding was originally committed to trials in South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria.

·         183 grants to farmers have been approved to date under the initial trial to cover apple, pear, cherry and vine crops.

·         The Horticulture Netting Program – Trial Expansion will see the trial extended nationally.

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