Media Release

​Water R&D strategy essential to ensure ag productivity​

22 December 2015

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, today launched an updated National Water Use in Agriculture Research, Development & Extension (RD&E) strategy designed to accelerate water research and establish Australia as a world-leader in irrigation efficiency.

Water is a precious resource for our communities, economies, and our unique environment, as well as being a critical input for agriculture,” Minister Joyce said.

“My goal is to ensure that the Australian Government’s approach to water is based on strong links to the people who actually use the water—it’s common sense.

“The updated National Water Use in Agriculture RD&E strategy is designed to ensure that all stakeholders have a seat at the table as we work to establish a smarter approach to developing water strategies that increase productivity and improve returns at the farmgate.

“That is why this strategy has been developed by the CSIRO and Dairy Australia in partnership with industry peak body groups, national Research and Development Corporations, leading tertiary institutions and federal and state government departments.

“Improving the skills and capability of farmers—and the wider community’s understanding of this precious resource—will be central to transforming the way that water is used in agriculture, and ultimately across the nation.”

Minister Joyce said the new strategy would facilitate a major acceleration in water research, development and extension activities.

“The focus of this strategy will be on activities that help farmers maximise water efficiency and establish world-leading farm water productivity,” Minister Joyce said.\

“For example, the updated National Water Use in Agriculture RD&E strategy inspired the $4 million Smarter Irrigation for Profit project, which aims to improve farmgate returns through better water management.”

The Smarter Irrigation for Profit project, which is targeting 3,000 irrigators nationally across the dairy, cotton rice and sugar sectors, is funded under the Australian Government’s $200 million Rural R&D for Profit programme.

The National Water Use in Agriculture RD&E strategy forms part of the National Primary Industries Research, Development and Extension Framework, designed to encourage greater collaboration and promote continuous improvement in national RD&E investment. 

Information about the National Primary Industries Research, Development and Extension Framework is available at: agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/innovation/national-primary-industries​.​