Australian Government

AUS$26.5m for training to prepare farmers for climate change


Source: Australian Government

Primary producers and industries will have access to specialised training to help them deal with the impacts of climate change under a new AUS$26.5 million FarmReady fund announced by the Rudd Government. The new FarmReady fund is part of the AUS$130 million Australia’s Farming Future initiative, announced in the Federal Budget to ensure the $38 billion agricultural industries are resilient into the future. Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke said FarmReady follows on from the AUS$46.2 million announced earlier this month for research and development.

“We need to ensure the best research makes it from the lab to the farm,” Mr Burke said.

Over four years, FarmReady will focus on areas such as whole-farm planning, business and risk management and understanding the implications of climate change.

Primary producers will be able to apply for grants of up to $1,500 each financial year to attend approved training courses, which will help to cover travel, accommodation and childcare costs.

Industry associations and farming and natural resource management groups will be able to apply for grants of up to $80,000 each financial year to help support their members in adapting to climate change.

The first courses are expected to begin in the next few months.

Key areas to be covered by the courses could include:

  • Understanding the implications of climate change
  • Integration of new techniques to address impacts of climate change
  • Natural resource planning and adaptive management
  • Integrated catchment management, fire management and flood management as a result of climate change
  • Risk assessment and management options
  • Financial management including budget preparation, monitoring and reporting
  • Research and analytical skills to source relevant information from a range of sources.

It follows the recent release of a joint report by the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology showing that in the worst scenario droughts could occur twice as often and cover twice the area.

“The Rudd Government recognises that farmers are on the front line when it comes to the future impact of climate change,” Mr Burke said.

“It is vital that we invest now in specialised training to equip farmers and those in the forestry and fishing sectors with the tools to manage climate change.

“This will help them to make business decisions themselves and plan ahead for maximum productivity growth and efficiency into the future.”

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