More funding available to boost China–Australia ag cooperation
16 February 2016
Funding is now available to Australian farm businesses and organisations to undertake projects and trade missions to boost the agricultural trading relationship between Australia and China.
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the Coalition Government was making $384,000 available under Australia-China Agriculture Cooperation Agreement (ACACA) over the next two years to enhance agricultural cooperation with China.
“We’ve got an enormously important trading relationship with China, particularly in the agriculture space where our two-way trade was worth $12 billion in 2014-15,” Minister Joyce said.
“We have a strong history of working together on agricultural trade issues and we’re always looking to do more. ACACA is all about building on that trade, exchanging skills and information and promoting solid cooperation between our two nations.
“This year’s programme will provide two streams of funding, covering projects and trade missions in priority areas including science and technology cooperation, sustainable agricultural technology, food safety, animal husbandry and exploration of niche markets.
“The programme will support activities including technical exchanges, staff secondments, working groups, training programmes, research and development and information exchanges.
“It’s open to Australian individuals, farm businesses, industry groups, rural and regional associations, education, research and academic institutions as well as federal, state and local government organisations, and I encourage any interested groups or organisations to apply.”
Minister Joyce said the ACACA programme had laid a strong foundation which should be used strategically to develop new opportunities presented by the China–Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA).
“Ours is a trading relationship built on mutual benefit and respect, and ACACA has been a key part of that relationship for more than 30 years,” Minister Joyce said.
Examples of previous ACACA-funded projects include:
- a joint research project to enhance the functionality of Australian oats exported to China
- the development of bilateral applications of new spatial and digital technologies for cropping between Australia and China
- facilitation of a trade mission focused on enhancing cooperation and exchange with China on genetically modified organism regulation and trials.
“I’ve visited China as Agriculture Minister twice in the past two years to further that relationship, and ChAFTA, which came into force on 20 December 2015, is already delivering considerable benefits to Australian agricultural exporters and Chinese food processors, suppliers and consumers.
“ChAFTA eliminates tariffs on key commodities where there is growing demand—like beef, sheep meat, hides and skins, dairy, horticulture, wine and seafood—making Australian exports more attractive to Chinese importers and consumers.
“We continue to pursue technical market access agreements to help facilitate these gains and realise the benefits that ChAFTA offers to farmers and farmgate returns. The projects funded under ACACA will strengthen these efforts, and our relationship more broadly.”