The Government announced $4.5 million in grants have been awarded to help groups of farmers implement new collaborative business approaches to deliver greater farm gate returns.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, and Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Luke Hartsuyker, said the grants, delivered by Southern Cross University under the Government’s $13.8 million Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration Pilot Program, were delivering innovative projects across the agriculture sector.
“The Government delivered this pilot in the $4 billion Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper to get more farm businesses across Australia to consider new business models, which Southern Cross University is doing under the ‘Farming Together’ brand,” Minister Joyce said.
“These grants are helping interested businesses make the next step, allowing groups to move towards forming a co-operative or some other collaborative business arrangement, giving farmers greater control of the supply chain and more bargaining power when it comes to negotiating with buyers.
“Projects include a $109,225 grant to the Professional Fishermen’s Association in New South Wales to study the feasibility of shipping live eels to China and a $57,275 grant to the Perth-based Sweeter Banana Co-operative to undertake a detailed analysis and business model for a co-op ripening and marketing facility for bananas.”
Minister Hartsuyker congratulated Maranoa Kangaroo Harvesters and Growers, who will receive $120,000 in funding for a project to explore opportunities for better kangaroo management and harvesting through the development of regional cooperatives.
Minister Hartsuyker addressed the National Farming Together Forum, delivered under the pilot, and welcomed the interest from farmers keen to hear about what co-operatives and other forms of collaboration could provide.
“We want farmers right across the country to have access to information and experts needed to properly consider whether a collaborative arrangement is right for them, and there is an appetite out there in the sector,” Minister Hartsuyker said.
“So far, the pilot has already engaged with more than 700 farmer groups and reached through to more than 16,000 farmers across Australia.
“Farming Together is arming businesses with information on the benefits of collaboration, what is required to form these, with access to expert advice and assistance to make up their own minds about what’s best for their business.”
Source: Australian Government