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NESB producers advance Australian agriculture in new video.

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AFFA01/19T 6 September 2001


The Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Judith Troeth, today launched a new video designed to help the one in five Australian primary producers from non-English speaking backgrounds (NESB) access government assistance for their industry.

The video features the stories of South Australian Lebanese horticulturist Maria Yfantidis and Queensland Maltese sugar grower Mary Margaret Borg, both of whom have benefited from programs offered through the Commonwealth government’s Agriculture-Advancing Australia (AAA) package.

As with other AAA information for NESB producers the video is available in Italian, Greek, Arabic, Croatian, Macedonian, Vietnamese, Maltese, Punjabi, and Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), and will be distributed through grower groups and community organisations around the country.

"During this past year we have been working hard to ensure that all Australian producers in farming, fishing and forestry are aware of the wide range of training programs and grants available through AAA that will assist them in developing their industries," Senator Troeth said.

"This new AAA video was produced at the specific request of NESB producers, who found an earlier English language version lacked examples that NESB growers could relate to their own experience.

"When officials from my department, Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry- Australia, met with representatives of NESB grower groups they found that most government information materials focus on large scale industries such as broadacre cropping and livestock production.

"With the majority of Australia’s NESB producers working in family businesses in the horticulture industry we thought it was important to include some stories that other NESB farmers could identify with."

Speaking at the Sydney Markets in Flemington, Senator Troeth said that there was too little awareness of the value of agricultural exports produced by non-English speaking producers.

"It is not enough to simply quote the dollar value of this production. We also have to acknowledge the contribution that NESB grower communities have made to broadening the diversity of our exports within the Asian region and making us more responsive to changing market opportunities.

"The total value of agricultural production by NESB growers in the Sydney Basin region alone, where these growers make up 80% of all producers, is estimated at over $150 million a year.

Further inquiries:

Senator Troeth's office, Matt Koval (02) 6277 3002 AAA Cordinator, Carolyn Page (02) 6272 4373 Copies of the video are available from EMD Communications (02) 83990011.

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Last updated 6 September 2001.