Victorian horticulturalists, including those in the Goulburn Valley, will soon be able to access an additional $11.2 million in funding to purchase and install protective netting through the Federal Government’s national expansion of the Horticultural Netting Program trial.
Federal Member for Nicholls, Damian Drum, said the additional funding takes total funding for Victoria under the trial to $15.9 million and $60.9 million nationally.
Mr Drum said netting delivered productivity boosts by protecting crops from extreme weather and pests, and that the expansion of the program was welcome support for the region’s primary producers.
“By supporting Goulburn Valley farmers to invest in new netting, The Nationals in Government are putting more money into producers’ pockets and in regional economies,” Mr Drum said.
“The Federal Government is committed to building resilience and value in the horticulture sector by protecting crops from extreme weather events and animal predation.”
Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia, David Littleproud, said the the expansion of the Horticultural Netting Program trial would support resilience against climate change while improving the quantity and quality of crops to support the agricultural industry reach its Ag2030 target.
“Protective netting, which can reduce the impact of weather events and pests, is a significant cost barrier for a lot of horticulturalists across Australia,” Mr Littleproud said.
“That is why we are co-investing in horticultural netting to secure Australia’s food supply while we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and recent natural disasters across the country.
“Already the Horticultural Netting Program trial has allowed apple and pear growers in Victoria to supplement half the cost of purchasing and installing protective netting, enabling them to protect their crops and secure their investment.”
Horticulturalists will be able to apply for grants in the coming months and the program will operate until June 30, 2025, or until all the funds are committed.