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Deputy PM announces federal grant for Hastings Food & Agriculture Opportunities Program.

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Mark Vaile MP Deputy Leader of the Natonal Party - Minister for Trade - Federal Member for Lyne

Deputy PM Announces Federal Grant for Hastings Food & Agriculture Opportunities Program 17 October 2001

The Federal Government has announced funding of $7,920.00 for Hastings Council to implement Stage 1 of the Hastings Food & Agriculture Opportunities Program.

The project has been funded under the Federal Government's $90-million Regional Solutions Program.

Announcing the funding at the official opening of Mark Vaile's Port Macquarie Campaign office, Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson said the project aimed to assist the local agriculture and horticulture industries tap into new markets previously untapped.

"This project aims to develop market opportunities for local Hastings produce, a product development and partnership marketing system for the region and also aims to attract an enhanced university presence with a faculty specialising in food services safety and quality," Mr Anderson said.

Local Federal Member Mark Vaile said the project would provide Hastings Valley producers with a blueprint for the future.

"There is certainly an untapped market out there. There are many Hastings producers who have the capacity to produce much more, however, we need to look at ways in which we can develop that potential," Mr Vaile said.

"The idea of developing a university faculty specialising in food technology and food services is certainly worth pursuing, and I'm keen to explore this further with Hastings Council at the completion of this first stage."

"May I take this opportunity to congratulate Hastings Council on its work with the local agricultural and horticultural industries in developing a very worthwhile project which has great potential," Mr Vaile said.