Victoria will be leading the country in agricultural innovation after the Liberals and Nationals committed $8 million to establish the Agriculture Futures Extension Program (AFEP).
The program will be available to grower groups across Victoria to deliver programs that assist farmers in adopting new technologies and practices.
The programs will boost profitability, productivity, and environmental sustainability for Victorian primary producers.
The funding will allow industry groups to tailor programs for participants, with the focus of AFEP’s delivery including:
- Awareness of agriculture’s impact on the environment and carbon emissions;
- Adoption of environmentally friendly technologies and practices;
- Supporting emerging farmers (such as young people and women), and;
- Diversifying domestic and export markets.
Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Peter Walsh, said the fund would deliver innovative programs to drive greater productivity.
“Victoria’s $17.8 billion agricultural industry relies on innovation to constantly adapt to a changing environment,” Mr Walsh said.
“This funding will allow industry groups to deliver programs that encourage on-farm innovation and adoption of new technology.”
The Nationals Candidate for Mildura, Jade Benham, said the program will also help drive Victoria’s emission reductions.
“Our farmers are the stewards of the land, and the Agriculture Futures Extension Program will assist them in meeting their business and net zero ambitions,” Ms Benham said.
Liberal Candidate for Mildura, Paul Matheson, said the funding will deliver more programs to assist farmers.
“This will deliver 40 separate programs through to 2027 and builds on the Liberals and Nationals’ commitment to driving agricultural research in Victoria,” Mr Matheson said.