The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has welcomed $10.5 million in Federal Government funding for new, innovative technologies to combat pest animals and weeds.
The funding was announced by Federal Agriculture Minister, Hon Barnaby Joyce MP.
NFF President Fiona Simson said it was good news for Australian farmers. “Farmers care for more than 50% of Australia’s land mass – spending, on average, $19,620 a year on pest animal and weed control.”
“Having access to the latest technologies and innovations for this control is crucial in order to protect the environment and maintain farmers’ productivity and profitability,” Ms Simson said.
The funding will faciliutate 23 projects looking at novel initiatives such as new herbicide spraying devices, automated traps, thermal aerial imaging for pest monitoring, optimal use of chemicals, and biological control agents.
Ms Simson said sound pest and weed control was an insurance policy for farmers.
“We depend upon on-farm biosecurity measures to maintain access to highly valuable global markets.
“Biosecurity is not a topic that ordinarily captures the public’s imagination but it is an issue that, if not taken seriously, could cost the farm sector millions of dollars.”
This funding is part of the Federal Government’s $50 million commitment to pest and weed control in the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.
“We congratulate Federal Minister Joyce for recognising the importance of this issue and investing directly in solutions.
“We look forward to seeing what technologies emerge,” Ms Simson said.