AUSTRALIA’S sheep, lamb and wool producers are the nation’s keenest to form collaborations, according to the national Farming Together program.
The campaign to encourage farmers, fishers and foresters to form groups has attracted more sheep, lamb and wool projects than any other commodity group in its first 10 months.
A total 23.2 percent of applications have come from the sector; sheep and lamb producers comprised 14pc of total applications, with wool producers lodging 9.2pc of applications.
Farming Together has had interactions with 700 groups representing more than 16,000 farmers nationally.
The Australian Government-supported program recently announced first-round funding of $4.5m to farmer groups. In addition, it provided the groups with independent expert advice valued at $550,000.
Farming Together program director Lorraine Gordon said applications have come from groups across the country – large and small.
“The large-scale commodity groups, like sheep, beef and cropping, predominated, but we also had robust interest from smaller, emerging ag-commodities.
“We note a strong interest among organic producers and locavore co-operatives as well as fish and seafood groups,” she said.
“There is clearly an appetite for collaborative models across the nation’s primary producers.
“Farming Together is exactly the right program at the right time and in the right place.”
Independent specialists are still available through the program at no-cost and cover areas such as financial advice, contracts, co-op formation, marketing, packaging, logistics, food technology, data/IT and capacity building. Visit www.farmingtogether.com.au
The two-year, $13.8m pilot program is being delivered by Southern Cross University on behalf of the Australian Government. It comprises a highly experienced senior team drawn from a wide range of commodity groups from across Australia and is backed by an industry advisory group representing experts from Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales.
Source: Farming Together.