Long term plan the answer for agricultural future

The Western Australian Farmers Federation (Inc.) (WAFarmers) wants to see the development of a long term vision for the State’s agricultural industries as a major part of any State Government’s plans.

WAFarmers has identified six agricultural related departments: Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA), Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), Department of Water, Department of Mines and Petroleum, Department of Main Roads and the Department of Transport, which need increased support.

WAFarmers wants a long term vision, beyond the electoral cycle, for the State’s agricultural related industries which has whole of Government support and increases resources and renews focus for Government departments relating to agriculture.

WAFarmers President, Dale Park, said looking past the four year electoral cycle was the key for the long term sustainability and viability of the Western Australian agricultural industry.

“Immediately, there needs to be an improved dialogue between farmers, agriculturalists and DAFWA, to ensure the department is acting in the best interests of the State’s growers and producers,” Mr Park said.

“Farmers also need the support of the State Government when it comes to having access to affordable and appropriate risk mitigation strategies in response to adverse seasons. 

“The organisation has been involved in a number of taskforces and feasibility studies regarding risk mitigation and Multi Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI), however each attempt has found that a MPCI-type scheme would not be viable without considerable Government assistance. 

“Both Federal and State Governments have continued to refuse such assistance which is not in line with most of the governments in the world, who understand the importance of the food producers in the community, and such a scheme would not only provide security for farming families but also for rural businesses and communities.”

WAFarmers calls on the State Government to provide help, such as underwriting the establishment of risk mitigation insurance, rather than hindrance to its introduction

Mr Park said other areas which need a long term strategy included foreign investment in Western Australian agricultural land, DAFWA’s AgriFood 2025 strategy and the State’s Harvest Mass Management Scheme.

“These are areas which are of concern to our members, the State’s food producers, and the State Government needs to create a dialogue with those farmers to ensure the long term sustainability of the State’s agricultural sector,” Mr Park concluded.

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