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Focus on sustainable agriculture

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARES) has released a series of agricultural industry results to coincide with the national ABARES Outlook 2017 Conference.  With good results for a range of grains and broadacre farms, continued demand for wool exports and a bright outlook for livestock it is timely to highlight the commitment of the farming industry to achieving these results with protection of the environment in mind.

The announcement of the development of a new memorandum of understanding between the National Farmers Federation, the peak national body representing farmers, and NRM Regions Australia, who represent 56 natural resource management organisations across Australia, will facilitate a renewed focus on investment in sustainable agriculture activities.

As outlined in the joint announcement, the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme is not only about the traditional concept of Landcare, but extends to industry groups, community groups, and regional NRM organisations – such as North Coast Local Land Services - working together to invest in environmental and sustainable agriculture outcomes.

Healthy environments are essential for farm productivity and North Coast Local Land Services, funded by the National Landcare Programme and the NSW Government’s Catchment Action NSW provides that focus at the local level.

Royce Bennett, Manager Land Services said, “The strength of the funding program is demonstrated by the work we do with the community to identify local priorities for investment.

“We help farmers grow their knowledge through advice, information, training and networking.

“Better informed decisions help farmers balance production, profit and sustainability and we help farmers discover new ways to improve their business while protecting the environment,” Royce said.

Through local-level partnerships such as the one between North Coast Local Land Services and North Coast Regional Landcare Network, funding and support is also made available to help support local organisations, such as local landcare groups, to undertake a range of projects that help protect their local environment and deliver more sustainable agriculture.

Royce continued, “There is no doubt that the National Landcare Programme has helped land managers to deliver more sustainable agriculture while protecting Australia's natural environment.

“The delivery of sustainable and effective land management underpins our valuable North Coast agricultural industry and is focused on demonstrating the outcomes we achieve to guide decisions about future investment in sustainable agriculture.

Royce concluded, “Individually and collectively we must find ways of living sustainably and our programs and partnerships bring people together to work towards a shared goal to protect our natural, living wealth – our biodiversity – while also enhancing the economic prosperity of a vibrant agricultural industry.”

Media contact:

Royce Bennett, Manager Land Services (Strategy) Phone 0428 481 907

Photo captions:

Sustainable agriculture means productive farms in a healthy environment