The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) has launched a new online tool which allows farmers to investigate almost 100 options for diversifying their enterprise.
The search tool, located on the www.farmdiversity.com.au website is free and easy to use. After simply entering their postcode, farmers see a ‘shortlist’ of industries that may be viable in their area. More specific search information, such as rainfall, soil type and climate zone can be used to refine the search.
Farmers can also search for a particular plant or animal that may be of interest. For each plant and animal the website provides essential information such as:
- production status
- growing region maps
- risks and challenges
- regulatory considerations
- contact information for industry bodies
“Previously, farmers would have had to do extensive internet searches to unearth this kind of information. Importantly, the new tool may identify industries that a farmer may never have considered as opportunities,” said Craig Burns,Managing Director of RIRDC.
“While the primary driver for diversification is to increase income, other benefits are improving resilience, spreading risk and even reducing environmental impact.
“The website is a place to start. It will open up conversations across the kitchen table.”
farmdiversity.com.au also contains a set of questions which farmers should ask themselves before considering diversification.
“The website should be considered a starting point in a farmer’s journey towards diversifying their enterprise, not the destination,” said Mr Burns.
“Farmers need to fully understand the implications of becoming involved in a new industry before they invest.”