Knowledge Is Power For Drought-Affected Farmers

Victorian farming communities impacted by drought and dry seasonal conditions will have more access to the information and expertise they need, thanks to funding from the Andrews Labor Government.

The $650,000 Farming and Community Group Drought Funding program, which is now open, provides grants of up to $25,000 for groups to engage technical experts or specialists to deliver training to farmers that is designed to help them prepare for, respond to and manage drought and dry seasonal conditions.

The program is open to community groups including Landcare and land management groups, industry groups, farming systems groups, farming discussion groups and other not-for-profit organisations. Groups in the Millewa, East Gippsland and the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District are particularly encouraged to apply.

A similar program which ran last year was extremely successful, delivering 30 activities, engaging more than 900 farmers and 200 service providers.

Farmers across the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District were among those who benefited from last year’s program with Murray Dairy using the funding to support dairy businesses to tailor their business plans.

Applications for the 2020 Farming and Community Group Drought Funding open today and close on 23 March. Projects must be delivered between April and June 2020.

The program is part of the $81 million funding package that the Labor Government has committed to support the state’s worst-hit farming businesses and families to recover from the impacts of drought.

For more information about the program and other assistance available to help farmers call 136186 or visit  agriculture.vic.gov.au/dryseasons.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes

“We’ve worked with farmers to develop a program for them to gain access to the information and expertise that they need to manage and prepare for drought and dry seasonal conditions.”

“This is about increasing knowledge and capability by encouraging local groups to team with a technical expert to deliver workshops or run events tailored to local needs.” 

Quote attributable to Murray Dairy chief executive Jenny Wilson

“Last year’s community groups funding program was important to help set our dairy farmers up for managing what are very challenging times for our industry in northern Victoria.”