Victoria backs its farmers in the fight against climate change
As a response to climate change, Victoria’s Government is investing $20 million towards their farmers to help reduce emissions.
The Andrews Labor Government launches the Agriculture Sector Pledge, working in partnership with the agriculture industry to create a shared vision on the sector’s role in a net-zero emissions economy.
“Victoria is well-positioned to be a leader in low emissions agriculture and we have shown it is possible to include this critical sector in an emissions reduction plan, without compromising its growth or profitability,” said Minister for Agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas.
“Our Agriculture Sector Pledge accelerates the actions needed to achieve our long-term vision for the sector’s role in a net-zero emissions economy. We will work with industry to shape and implement this important work.”
Chair of the Victorian Agriculture and Climate Change Council Alexandra Gartmann also believes the Agriculture Sector Pledge will unlock opportunities for cross-sector coordination and tangible on-farm action.
A Victorian Agriculture and Climate Change Statement will be shaped by the Victorian Agriculture and Climate Change Council (VACCC). This advisory council will be comprised of farmers, industry leaders and climate change experts with experience and connections across agricultural commodities and regional communities.
The $20 million funding will accelerate a range of projects in the agriculture sector. This includes $3.9 million for research into agriculture emissions reduction technologies and practices. The research will have flagship trials to reduce methane on dairy cow farms with feed additives like 3-NOP and seaweed.
Part of the investment will also provide information, tools and services to support adaptation and climate risk management across the agriculture sector as this can help farmers and growers measure and reduce on-farm emissions.
Direct grants from a $5 million pool will support up to 250 farmers to assess their climate risk and emissions profile and take action to reduce emissions and adapt to the changing climate.
Aside from the direct grants from the Agriculture Sector Pledge, the Government is supporting farmers through the $15.3 million Victorian Carbon Farming Program, providing incentives for landowners to sequester carbon by planting agroforestry and shelterbelt trees on their land while also increasing productivity and providing income.
These investments are part of the Agriculture Energy Investment Plan, which has provided around 800 free on-farm energy assessments and awarded more than 450 grants to farmers. It also aligns with the Victorian Agriculture Strategy, which works to protecting and enhancing the future of the sector by ensuring it is well placed to respond to climate change.
“Our action on climate change puts Victoria shoulder to shoulder with the world’s major economies and leaders. This will reduce emissions and create jobs across the economy – from agriculture to transport to energy,” Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio states.