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AgFund to turn ideas into reality.



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DAFF07/069PM - 30 May 2007

AgFund to turn ideas into reality

Grants of up to $50,000 from the Australian Government will transform innovative ideas in agriculture into practical solutions to help farmers prepare for change.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Peter McGauran, said the new AgFund would provide the grants to farmer groups, as part of the $35 million Agriculture Advancing Australia package announced in the Budget.

“AgFund will turn ideas into action, to help individual farmers to survive and prosper in an increasingly challenging environment,” Mr McGauran said.

“Our primary producers are battling growing competition in domestic and export markets, declining terms of trade, climatic variability and increased pressure to manage resources more sustainably.

“AgFund will take ideas from research laboratories and industry boardrooms directly out to our farmers, fishing and forestry industries, to help them respond to these challenges.”

Mr McGauran said the projects must be completed within a year — and might include helping farmers in a region to capitalise on an emerging market, developing a plan to tackle a local biosecurity threat, or introducing an idea to increase on-farm productivity.

“Under the grants, the Government will match, dollar for dollar, the cash or in-kind investment of the successful farm groups,” he said.

“With this prolonged drought causing devastation for so many Australians, I’ve asked that projects that focus on drought preparation, mitigation and recovery be given special consideration in this round.

“I urge producer groups to identify issues in their communities that we can tackle together.”

Applications to the first round of grants close on 16 July.

To find out more or to download an application form go to www.daff.gov.au/industrypartnerships or phone 1800 136 100.

Further media inquiries:

Minister McGauran's office: Ben Houston 02 6277 7520