AUSVEG welcomes Minister’s support for rural R&D
AUSVEG CEO Richard Mulcahy today welcomed the decision by the Federal Agriculture Minister, Senator The Hon. Joe Ludwig, to maintain the existing rural research and development model for investment in Australia’s rural industries.
“The decision by Minister Ludwig not to cut government contributions to rural R&D is welcome news at this critical time for farmers. The decision offers reassurance for growers in our industry that their levy contributions will continue to receive strong government support,” AUSVEG CEO Richard Mulcahy said.
AUSVEG is the National Peak Industry Body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.
“Without some form of R&D many agricultural sectors will be unsustainable and uncompetitive. This is particularly true for the vegetable and potato sectors, where R&D underpins productivity growth and assists with finding solutions to various invasive pests, diseases and on-farm operational issues,” Mr Mulcahy said.
“It’s encouraging to see that despite the Federal Government’s efforts to get the nation back into surplus that it has decided not to abandon critical research in the agriculture sector.”
“Investment in research and development is critical to ensuring the long-term sustainability of the Australian food industry. Investment in research and development has brought about significant developments in the way the industry deals with soil health and pest and disease issues, among others.”
“Developments have included improvements in Controlled Traffic Farming where we now see GPS technology involved in farming to ensure soil compaction is kept low and farmers can produce optimum yield. These are just some of the many improvements brought about through industry research that have both an industry and a community benefit.”
These developments have a tremendous community benefit in that they assist with ensuring Australia’s food industry is as effective and efficient as it can be in supplying food to the nation.”
“AUSVEG looks forward to assisting the Department of Agriculture in developing its recommendations following the Productivity Commission’s report over the coming months.”
MEDIA CONTACT: William Churchill, Communications and Public Affairs Manager, AUSVEG Phone: (03) 9822 0388, Mobile: 0411 166 748, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org