National Farmers' Federation

Future drought funding welcome, but don’t lose sight of the next drought

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has welcomed the announcement by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Agriculture Minister Murray Watt of $38 million from the Future Drought Fund to boost the farm sector’s resilience to climate change and dry conditions.

However, NFF Vice President David Jochinke noted the funding would primarily be directed into research and long-term trials and while much needed, it did little for the here and now.

“We are staring down the barrel at an El Nino bringing drier conditions this growing season,” Mr Jochinke said.

“Improving long term resilience is important, but climate research can’t come at the expense of preparing for the drought just around the corner.”

The NFF said the Future Drought Fund had to continue to include projects which would directly build resilience for when the next drought hits.

“Resilience is farmers’ middle name, but we can’t outrun the increasingly severe and frequent drought cycles.

“It’s imperative the Government focuses on climate change resilience but not at the expense of drought preparedness.

“We need to find the balance between being ready for the next drought while ensuring there’s continual investment into innovation and technology so agriculture can adapt to our changing climate.

“This balance is what the farm sector needs to keep up with growing demand for food and fibre, and to reach our goal to be a $100 billion industry by 2030.”