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Agriculture minister announces $500 million for more food products

Agriculture

Federal minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Murray Watt, has announced a $500 million investment to “encourage farmers to create more food products in Australia, in addition to selling raw commodities overseas.” 

This will be supplied through the National Reconstruction Fund. 

“As well as protecting the industry, we want to help farmers derive more value from their produce through value adding and innovation,” Watt said. “We want Australia to not only grow the wheat but also make the flour, biscuits and cakes and process and package meat for domestic and international markets.” 

In terms of protecting the industry, the federal government is aiming to address biosecurity threats. 

“I’ve been briefed by Australia’s chief veterinary officer Dr Mark Schipp upon his return from Indonesia, where there are worrying outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease and lumpy skin disease in cattle right now,” Watt said. 

“I’m working closely with experts and stakeholders to ensure that we have the right protections in place and continue to make the right biosecurity investments – at home and offshore.” 

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences also predicts record exports worth $65 billion in 2022-23, as well as a second consecutive year of over $80 billion in production. 

“Australian agriculture is on track for another record-breaking year, and the new government will be doing everything we can to support it with continued innovation, value adding and increased decarbonisation efforts,” Watt said. 

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