Record number of Australians celebrate AgDay
Last Friday Australia celebrated National Agriculture Day (AgDay). A record number of 150 events were registered this year with people putting their unique spin on an Aussie classic, the lamington, as part of the AgDay Bake Off. Almost 100 schools registered for Farmer Time, an initiative connecting students with farmers live from the paddock, dairy and header. Prime Minister Scott Morrison was one of many high profile Australians who shared the AgDay message.
Milestone biodiversity report released
On Monday, the NFF, in collaboration with AFI, released the Recognising On-farm Biodiversity Management Report that outlines the contribution and input of more than 500 farmers and subject matter experts on the topic of biodiversity.
Fees slashed for agriculture tertiary courses
Last week, Minister for Education Dan Tehan and Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud announced that Australian students will enjoy a 59% reduction in costs to study agriculture and encouraged Australians to consider a career in agriculture.
Time to act on water reform
Ahead of Basin ministers meeting today, the NFF called on MinCo to act on the many recommendations for water reform before them.
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Report sets agriculture up for a sustainable future
This week, a report released by the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) in collaboration with the Australian Farm Institute (AFI), outlined the thoughts and input of more than 500 farmers and leading environmental experts on how to transform the relationship between agriculture and environmental management and enhancement.
Recognising On-farm Biodiversity Management is the first report delivered under Phase 1 of the Federal Government’s Australian Farm Biodiversity Scheme.
The report, and research project more broadly, identifies critical success factors needed to implement consistent frameworks for managing the relationship between farmers and biodiversity.
The NFF has long been of the view that as environmental stewards and managers of over 50% of Australia’s landscape, farmers should be appropriately remunerated for the work they do in sustainably maintaining the land.
From managing soil to protecting waterways and looking after biodiversity, farmers are at the forefront of our evolving landscape.
Despite this, little action has been taken by Government and private industry to engage farmers on a framework that encompasses an overarching approach to recognition and remuneration for this work.
In the Report, AFI Executive Director Richard Heath noted that during the consultation process farmers rightfully identified the complexity, cost and difficult nature of participating in multiple programs as barriers to getting involved in current stewardship programs. This also included market-based initiatives.
The report found that bests results were likely to come from an overarching framework that connected current and future programs, providing farmers with choice.
Another key finding of the report was the absolute need for robust data and a consistent method by which to benchmark that data.
Without the solid foundation of data, baselines are unlikely to be established and systems to incentivise sustainability, as a result, will not succeed.
The report comes at a crucial time, where many farmers are in the process of rebuilding and beginning the recovery process following years of intense drought.
Improved sustainability approaches and outcomes are an important part in bolstering farmers’ resilience to drought as well as other pressures associated with farming.
With the report and Phase 1 of the Federal Government’s Australian Farm Biodiversity Scheme now delivered, the NFF is focussing on developing a framework for Australian agriculture sustainability as part of the Government’s $34 million Agricultural Stewardship package.
Quote of the week
"I Expect the States to step up to their responsibilities,
and I want to see the conversation at the ministerial Council focus on what
can be delivered in the timeframes defined by the Basin Plan."
- MINISTER FOR WATER, THE HON. KEITH PITT MP