February 8, 2012
The food and fibre sector is big business for Victoria. With exports of $8.1 billion in 2010-11, Victoria accounted for 28 per cent of Australia’s food and fibre exports from only three per cent of the country’s arable land base. The food and fibre sector employs more than 141,900 Victorians, and accounts for one in six jobs in regional and rural Victoria. With strong growth opportunities in global markets our future success is dependant on remaining internationally competitive. In the face of fierce international competition, the Victorian Government is committed to boosting food and fibre sector productivity and profitability. Growing Food and Fibre delivers on the government’s election commitments to increase the productivity and profitability of Victoria’s key food and fibre sectors so producers can continue to capture global opportunities. Growing Food and Fibre is a $61.4 million investment over four years, with $15.7 million ongoing in subsequent years: $19.5 million over four years and $5 million per annum ongoing to underpin productivity and maintain market access for Victoria’s primary industries. Targeted biosecurity actions will build industry capability in livestock disease surveillance, support community-led action on effective management of established weeds and pests, including wild dogs, and improve forest biosecurity and emergency response capabilities. $14.3 million over four years and $3.7 million per annum ongoing to boost productivity and profitability in Victoria’s dairy industry. Increasing productivity growth through new technologies will rapidly increase the rate of genetic improvement in dairy cattle and new feeding systems will improve feed conversion efficiency and improve water use efficiency. $10.6 million over four years and $2.7 million per annum ongoing to boost productivity and profitability in Victoria’s grains industry. New technologies that accelerate genetic gains in the yield and quality of cereal, oilseed, and pulse crops will boost sector productivity. Improved services for Victoria’s grain growers will be delivered through strengthened government, industry and private sector partnerships and the activities of the new National Plant Genetic Resource Centre at DPI Horsham. $8.9 million over four years and $2.3 million per annum ongoing to boost productivity and profitability in Victoria’s red meat (lamb and beef) industry. New management practices to improve livestock fertility, weaner survival and pasture utilisation will build productivity and competitiveness in the red meat industry. Investment in a National (Southern) Red Meat Innovation Centre at DPI Hamilton and more producer demonstration sites will support greater uptake of research findings. $8.1 million over four years and $2.1 million per annum ongoing to boost productivity and profitability in Victoria’s horticulture industry. New varieties and orchard production systems for pears, stonefruit and almonds will increase productivity and competitiveness in key markets. Improved traceability systems, including Property Identification Codes for the horticulture industries, will help to improve emergency management and secure market access.