New investments to lift agricultural sustainability and productivity

Programs to improve soil quality, investments in practical on the ground projects and a new network of facilitators to help farmers improve sustainability on their properties are just some of the programs set to rollout across the country.

Building the sustainability of Australian agriculture and assisting the sector adapt to climate change is a core priority of the Albanese Government.

That’s why we have committed more than $302 million through the Natural Heritage Trust to create the Climate-Smart Agriculture Program.

The Natural Heritage Trust is the government’s key investment platform for achieving its natural resource management, sustainable agriculture and environment protection outcomes.

Programs will also facilitate industry adoption of climate-smart practices to help reduce emissions and build resilience to climate change.

At a speech delivered this morning (Tuesday) Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry Murray Watt announced the specifics of how that funding will be rolled out on the ground.

“This program draws from the strengths of past Natural Heritage Trust investment and brings a heightened focus on the contemporary challenges our farmers are facing,” Minister Watt said.

“Chief among them is the challenge of adapting to climate change and the new phase of the NHT will have a stronger focus on climate adaptation than before.

“This is only possible because we now have a Federal Government willing to meet the ag sector’s ambition when it comes to adapting to climate change.

“This Climate-Smart Agriculture Program also continues the enduring investment into sustainability and natural resource management.

“Sustainable and climate-smart practices are central to our agenda for agriculture and key to industry’s future.”

The Climate-Smart Agriculture Program is being delivered through a series of integrated investment streams over 5 years including:

  • $45 million for Partnerships and Innovation grants
  • $15 million for Capacity Building grants
  • $36 million in soil measures
  • $13 million for small grants
  • $35.7 million towards operational capacity of Regional Delivery Partners and national Landcare organisations 
  • $85.6 million towards on-ground sustainable agriculture and natural resource management projects lead by our Regional Delivery Partners  
  • $40.7 million for a network of Sustainable Agriculture Facilitators.

“Together, this integrated suite of investment represents a clear-sighted and comprehensive response to what we have heard through consultation with agriculture stakeholders up to now,” Minister Watt said. 

“It positions farmers and landholders to adapt to the emerging and anticipated challenges of climate change, embrace sustainable agriculture practices and develop their sustainability credentials.

“Looking after our natural resources and responding to climate change has never been more important, for our economy, for our regional communities, and for our trade.

“Through this funding, the Albanese Government is standing alongside the ag industry to meet this challenge.”

For more information on the Climate-Smart Agriculture Program, visit https://www.agriculture.gov.au/agriculture-land/farm-food-drought/natural-resources/landcare/climate-smart.