Today we celebrate the inaugural National Agriculture Day – a day to thank our Tasmanian farmers, their families and rural communities.
It’s also a day to more widely acknowledge the industry and the thousands of Tasmanians who work both directly and indirectly to provide the State, the nation and increasingly the world with some of the best produce – from rural suppliers, stock and station agents, agribusiness, transport companies to small businesses in our rural towns.
The Hodgman Liberal Government is a proud supporter of our farming communities and agriculture is a key pillar of the state’s economy, contributing $1.48 billion per annum.
Proportionally, agriculture is worth more to our economy than any other state, so we clearly understand the importance of our continued support.
Our comprehensive Sustainable Agri-Food Plan is aimed at ensuring the Government and private sector collaborate on policies and initiatives to grow Tasmania’s agriculture and food sector.
Our commitment to the plan comes on the back of our launch of the White Paper: Growing Tasmanian Agriculture – Research, Development and Extension for 2050, last week.
The White Paper provides the road map for driving productivity, delivering greater returns for farmers and outlines more industry relevant research and partnerships to grow the State’s agriculture sector to $10 billion by 2050.
In the State Budget we committed $1.2 million for a new Strategic Industry Partnerships Program (SIPP) which saw $917,000 distributed between eight major industry bodies, such as the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association, Rural Business Tasmania and Fruit Growers Tasmania, on initiatives to support, promote and grow Tasmanian food and agriculture.
We have also invested $1 million in the Safe Farming Tasmania Program, making farm safety a permanent fixture and which is giving new employees the skills to work safely.
Together these key reforms are aimed at ensuring Tasmania’s farms and agriculture industry is sustainable for many generations to come.
I congratulate all those involved in the inaugural National Ag Day.
Copies of Tasmania’s Sustainable Agri-Food Plan 2016-2018 update and Tasmanian Agri-Food ScoreCard 2015-2016 are available for download from www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au