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AgShows provides grants to 122 regional shows
REGIONAL agricul- tural show societies across Australia will share in $20 million worth of grants to renew and reinvigorate aging showgrounds through the Regional Agricul- tural Show Development Grants program.
Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said the
“Agricultural shows are a major drawcard for our regional towns many of which have had to cancel events this year due to COVID-19,” Minister Lit- tleproud said.
“Ag shows are the heart and soul of our regional communities.
“The grants will be used by the successful show societies for a range of in- frastructure works, from small-scale upgrades to major overhauls and new builds that will benefit not only the show, but the community throughout the year, and in emergency situations as was the case in the recent bushfires.
Photo: Toowoomba Ag Show Facebook
Farmers’ input sought
on scheme to reward
positive on-farm
biodiversity practices
“Upgrading show facili- ties means more visitors to these regional events, more local employment
For successful appli- cants visit agriculture. structure/ag-shows
grants would also serve as a much-needed cash injection in the wake of recent bushfires and the COVID-19 outbreak.
“These grants will help show societies refurbish their showgrounds and fa- cilities, so that when their next event rolls around it will be even more attrac- tive to show-goers.
and more tills ringing in local businesses,” Min- ister Littleproud said.
“They bring and keep communities together, link the country to the city and provide a key boost to these local economies.”
These events showcase the hard work and innova- tion that goes into pro- ducing Australia’s food and fibre.
“The Australian govern- ment wants to see our ag- ricultural shows continue to thrive and be enjoyed for generations to come.”
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THE National Farmers’ Federation has launched a survey for farmers to have their say in the de- sign of the Australian Farm Biodiversity Cer- tification Scheme Trial.
“The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete and provides an opportunity to help reshape the interaction between agriculture and environmental regulation into the future.”
Rewarding farmers for good environmental prac- tices and stewardship has long been a goal for Australia’s agriculture sector, with representa- tive groups including the NFF looking for ways to remunerate farmers for managing Australia’s landscape.
Phase one of the trial has almost finished and has been carried out via a detailed desktop study, key stakeholder inter- views as well as an online public consultation pro- cess in which hundreds of farmers and natural resource management ex- perts took part.
NFF CEO Tony Mahar said unfortunately, the implementation of some environmental regulation has come at the expense of agricultural productivity growth.
The next stage of the trial involves refining the ideas gathered during these consultations by seeking direct input from producers via this survey with a report expected to be released at the end of July.
“The NFF and our members strongly believe farmers should be finan- cially rewarded for the biodiversity assets they protect on behalf of all Australians,” he said.
“Creating a scheme that works at a commer- cial and practical level is no small challenge,” Mr Mahar said.
“After all, more than 50 percent of the Aus- tralian landscape is under the stewardship of our farmers.”
“We see the need to maintain and improve en- vironmental outcomes by establishing a verification mechanism for sustain- able agriculture practices as crucial to achieving NFF’s $100 billion farm- gate output goal.
Mr Mahar said the NFF was currently working with the Department of Agriculture, Water & the Environment on the de- velopment and pilot of the trial, which would ulti- mately establish whether such schemes were likely to be viable in the context of Australia’s agricultural sector.
“As part of NFF’s 2030 Roadmap, the NFF has a goal for 5 percent of farmers’ income to be de- rived from ecosystem ser- vices by the same year.”
“The Australian Farm Biodiversity Certification Scheme Trial is a poten- tial game changer for the industry in its aim to value, measure and ultimately monetise on-farm biodiver- sity assets,” he said.
The survey, which only takes about 10 minutes to complete, can be ac- cessed at surveymonkey. com/r/J5RT6YM with an introductory mes- sage from Mr Mahar available at lg6QV9h46Qo
“Any viable, voluntary scheme will need farm sector support to be suc- cessful.
Farmers who are inter- ested in completing the survey, or interested in the Trial in general, can also watch a Webinar discus- sion on the topic of the Australian Farm Biodi- versity Scheme at youtu. be/rvZHQ2PT164
“We’re calling on farmers to provide their thoughts and insights to how such a framework might work.
Australian Pork Newspaper, June 2020 – Page 9

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