MINISTER for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, has announced the first round of the $99 million Action on the Ground program to help farmers cash in on Australia’s clean energy future.
Action on the Ground is funding to help farmers over the next six years to trial and demonstrate on-farm practices and technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions such as methane and nitrous oxide or increase soil carbon.
Minister Ludwig, who visited an on-farm demonstration site near Mildura today, said the program will provide landholders, researchers, industry, government and non-government groups with funding to address the sources of agricultural emissions.
“Action on the Ground will provide farmers with support to develop the tools to mitigate the impact of climate change and help Australia meet its emission reduction targets,” Minister Ludwig said.
“The first funding round of competitive grants will commit up to $25 million between now and 2015.”
The program is a part of the Carbon Farming Futures Fund under the government’s $1.7 billion Land Sector Package.
Funding can be used to help reduce methane emissions from farmed animals and their waste; improve fertiliser use to reduce nitrous oxide emissions; and the planting and rotation of crops and grazing practices to reduce emissions from soils or increase carbon stored in soil.
“Today I visited a demonstration site near Mildura, managed by Mallee Sustainable Farming in partnership with the Birchip Cropping Group,” Minister Ludwig said.
“This is one of the many on-farm demonstration sites that have been established as part of the National Adaptation and Mitigation Initiative, a $9.5 million partnership between the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and the Grains Research and Development Corporation.
“The work on display here in Mildura is a preview of the great things to come for the agriculture industry thanks to funding programs such as Action on the Ground.
“Anyone interested in reducing on-farm greenhouse gas emission from the agricultural sector or increasing carbon stored in soils should make the most of this funding opportunity.”
To find out more about eligibility and how to apply for the first round of funding, visit the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry website at www.daff.gov.au/climatechange/car bonfarmingfutures/action-on-the-g round