National Farmers' Federation

Ag research a priority, but no new funding in sight

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has welcomed the release of the Federal Government’s Strategic Research Priorities, which list ‘managing our food and water assets’ as a key research priority for the coming decade.
“Whilst we’re pleased to see food and water rating in the top five research priorities for the next decade, the lack of funding committed to agricultural research and development is highly concerning,” NFF CEO Matt Linnegar said.
“This year’s Federal Budget saw no new funds committed to agricultural innovation, research development and extension (RD&E), despite the NFF calling for a one percent increase in the overall funds committed to RD&E.”
According to the Government, the Strategic Research Priority of food and water will drive investment in areas that are of immediate and critical importance to Australian agriculture and its place in the world. The NFF believes the strategic focus should be a catalyst for investment in areas for which Australia must maintain a strong research and innovation capability.
“The Strategic Research Priorities confirm what the NFF has been calling for from our Government for some time. Investment in agricultural RD&E is critical to ensure the continued growth of our farming sector, so that we can meet the impending demands of the growing population in coming decades,” Mr Linnegar said.
“The NFF has called for an increase to RD&E funding in our election priorities for this year, and we have repeatedly stated the need for innovation and research to keep our agriculture industry vibrant and sustainable.
“We have also called for an increased commitment from the private sector to agricultural RD&E, as the longevity and continued growth of the industry is dependent on all sectors combining in this goal.
“We particularly support research outcomes that identify new food production practices and systems that can accommodate competing demands for soil and water while ensuring the long-term sustainability of these assets and the profitability of farm businesses.
“The NFF-led, industry-developed Blueprint for Australian Agriculture also outlines Innovation and RD&E as a key priority for the sector over the coming decades, and this has emerged as a key focus for agricultural industry leaders in the legacy phase of the Blueprint.
“The NFF hopes that, having listed food and water as a key research priority, the Federal Government will commit funds to ensure that vital agricultural research can continue to be developed.”

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