Tasmania’s NRM bodies have provided a combined response to a call for submissions to the Australian Government’s Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.
Sustainable agriculture, landcare and environmental programs delivered by regional NRM organisations support the competitive strength Australia has in the international marketplace as a ‘clean, green’ producer of food and fibre products.
Cradle Coast NRM, NRM North and NRM South play a central coordination role for the agricultural sector, bringing together knowledge and experience that will help Tasmanian farmers deliver returns to farm businesses both now and in the future.
NRM South CEO Donald Coventry says “Tasmania’s natural resource management organisations already play a significant role in bringing knowledge, experience and information to famers to help them make informed decisions about sustaining their agricultural outputs.
“Our Regional Landcare Facilitators and Local Area Facilitators work with farmers on a day to day basis. We share knowledge about sustainable agriculture practices, provide opportunities for producers at all levels to share their ideas and to investigate innovative practices. We are invested in the contribution our producers can make to the economy, the environment and their local community.
“The Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper provides a tremendous opportunity to shine a light on the work that NRMs already do, but also to identify opportunities to work with farmers at a deeper level.
“These are things like: creating better access to information; linking farmers to real time data and these services; providing space for farmers to learn from each other; and providing opportunity for farmers in our region to recognise and maximise the marketability of their ‘Tasmanian produced’ products.”
The Tasmanian NRM organisations’ submission to the Australian Government for the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper focuses specifically on the following:
Improving farm gate returns
- Data: Linking farmers to current science, data and information to help monitor and improve crops and practices.
- Information hub: Ensuring farmers can access best practice farm management information delivered in a way that is relevant and accessible (eg. apps, onfarm events, online)
- Agricultural competitiveness and expanding agricultural production
- Recognition: Promoting an accreditation system to help farmers gain recognition as a ‘Tasmanian producer’ within national and international markets.
- Enhancing agriculture’s contribution to regional communities
- Connection: Recognising NRM organisations are connected within regional communities and can help farmers take advantage of knowledge, information and resources in the region.
- Maximising competitiveness of inputs to the agriculture value chain
- Expertise: Recognising that NRM organisations offer expertise to agricultural producers to make informed decisions about inputs to increase productivity (R&D, energy, soil, water etc).
- Providing opportunity to enhance agricultural exports
- Protection: NRM organisations recognise the value of ‘Tasmanian produce’ as a marketing opportunity. We will continue to promote a focus on protecting Tasmania’s biosecurity reputation in relation to both produce and tourism assets.
The three Tasmanian NRM organisations recognise that the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper will provide a sound framework for further development of agricultural opportunities within Australia. It is important to acknowledge the role these organisations already play in helping farmers to sustain their agricultural businesses both now, and in the future.
Tasmania’s NRM organisations
Tasmania’s NRM organisations have a unique position as a place of connectivity. We work with Australian, State and Local Governments, community, business and industry and Landcare organisations. We ‘trade’ in knowledge, are trusted advisors in agriculture and the management of our natural resources, and have the flexibility to respond to a dynamic business environment. Cradle Coast NRM is based in the state’s north west, NRM North in the north with Launceston as its centre point and NRM South, in Tasmania’s southern region with Hobart as its base.
About NRM South
NRM South is one of three natural resource management bodies in Tasmania and is responsible for facilitating the implementation of the regional NRM strategy for southern Tasmania. As an independent organisation, NRM South acts as a ‘hub’, working with government, business and industry, producers, other non-government organisations and the community to protect and enhance southern Tasmania’s natural resources and the value they provide.