Funds underpin rural sector jobs growth

SEVEN agricultural organisations in Tasmania will share just over $460,000 in funding to support industry and jobs growth as part of a program announced this week.

The State Government has announced the recipient organisations in the latest round of the Strategic Industry Partnership Program funding. Primary Industries and Water Minister Jo Palmer said the funding was provided on a co-investment basis, to peak industry bodies and organisations that play a critical role in supporting agri-food industry sectors in Tasmania.

“As part of this commitment, we are investing $2 million over four years through the Strategic Industry Partnership Program to work with agriculture industry associations to deliver sustainable growth,” she said. “Importantly, this funding will leverage a further $454,550 in industry in-kind contributions from the successful applicants, bringing the total value of the projects in this round to $915,536.”

Mrs Palmer said the aim of the program was to help create jobs across the sector and support people working agriculture. “We’ve had seven successful applicants and the projects they’ll be working on are really quite diverse and quite exciting,” she said.

One of the recipient organisations is Tasmanian Women in Agriculture, which will use the funding to develop a Beyond the Farmgate skills program. Tasmanian Women in Agriculture chair Deb Morice said the funding would help the organisation provided much needed training and support to rural women of all ages across the state. Mrs Morice said the programs would be specifically tailored to tackle the issues and skills gaps women have previously identified through a survey run by the organisation.

“We have 14 programs we want to roll across the state and it will be statewide over the next four years which will give 40 offerings of these programs,” she said. The programs will cover a range of topics from business finances through to succession planning, carbon farming, digital technology and regenerative agriculture.

Stacy Cresswell has recently started working in the agriculture sector and is looking forward to developing some new skins through the TWiA programs.

“After recently coming into the agriculture industry myself and working alongside my family in a new business and scene than we’ve been used to, I understand it can be confronting for many women to gain leadership and knowledge and confidence to be able to participate in the industry,” she said. “There are many opportunities that Tasmanian Women in Agriculture can have.”

The other seven recipients this year are FermenTasmania whish will look at a waste fruit viability project Sprout Tasmania which will tackle the issues of understanding the small-scale farming sector in Tasmania and a knowledge base update as well as a breaking down the barriers project.

DairyTas has also received funding and will run a Tasmanian Dairy Farm Manager 2IC Program The Tasmanian Seed Industry Group will look at the development of the Tasmanian seed industry through the execution of the Tasmanian Seed Industry Group Action Plan.

Agricultural technology will be the focus of a project by the Tasmanian Agricultural Productivity Group which will run a pilot program to develop and test a grower-led agtech adoption framework in Tasmanian agriculture.