In a win for the intensive agriculture sector, the Queensland Government announced a comprehensive set of reforms that will ensure more primary producers get access to drought assistance programs.
For the first time, the new drought programs that focus on fostering greater preparedness and business resilience, will be made available for a broader range of eligible Queensland primary producers.
Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) CEO, Jo Sheppard said the reforms represented many years of advocacy by QFF on behalf of our member organisations and it was a significant opportunity for the intensive and irrigated agriculture sector that includes cane, cotton and horticulture.
“We welcome the expanding drought program eligibility to primary producers across all agricultural industries and removing the requirement to be in a drought-declared region in order to access the new preparedness assistance.”
The program announced by Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities, Mark Furner, is comprehensive and provides producers with an opportunity to access grants that are concerned with preparedness activities to manage the drought cycle, and Emergency Drought Assistance for those who are drought impacted.
“QFF supports sustainable production and managing drought is part of that. Drought assistance programs that focus on preparedness activities to help producers better manage the drought cycle, rather than waiting for a crisis, are an important aspect of assisting farmers to be better equipped to manage their own risk.”
“The support available to eligible producers includes Drought Preparedness Grants up to $50,000 and a suite of new drought preparedness, assistance and recovery loans up to $250,000.” said Ms Sheppard.
“That is valuable support which will assist the whole agriculture sector move towards sustainability and tackle the ongoing challenges of drought.”
For more details on the new Queensland drought assistance visit daf.qld.gov.au/drought.
Laura Bos, Communications and Media Manager, M: 0417 615 463