• Rikki Lambert

Farmers to receive $18.7m in SA state budget


South Australia’s agriculture sector has been allocated $18.7 million boost in the Marshall Liberal Government’s State Budget 2021-22 across a range of new initiatives to help support economic recovery, grow the industry and create local jobs.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said these new initiatives will build on existing programs to help grow South Australia’s agriculture industry.

“Many farmers across South Australia have had a challenging few years firstly with drought, bushfires and then the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our farmers are a critical part of our state economy and the importance of agriculture across the country has been further highlighted during the pandemic.

A new $1.3 million a year AgTech Adoption Program ($5.2 million over the forward estimates) will increase the take up of technology by primary producers to drive efficiency improvements.

Drought support will get a further boost with $5.2 million to fund another round of the hugely popular On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme. This program will enable water storages, pumps and pipes to be installed for over 200 drought-affected farmers. Minister Basham said in a statement:

“By expanding our support programs such as the on-farm water infrastructure rebate we will fast track economic recovery and better prepare our farmers for future adverse events.

The Marshall Liberal Government is also providing $4.4 million to help establish a ‘Drought Hub’ in South Australia to help better prepare farmers for drought and improve resilience.

The South Australian Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub will be headquartered at the University of Adelaide’s Roseworthy campus and supported by five nodes throughout regional South Australia at Minnipa, Port Augusta, Orroroo, Loxton and Struan.

Rural financial counselling and family and business support mentor programs will receive an extra $2.2 million over three years. These programs provide support to those impacted by adverse events such as drought to help manage current challenges and better prepare for the future.

The grains sector will also invest $1.7 million over 5 years to contain, treat and prove freedom from the potentially devastating pest Lens Snail. Minister Basham said:

“Biosecurity will continue to be a priority for our government as we work together with industry to build on our clean, green reputation and eradicate potentially devastating pests fruit fly and Lens Snail."