The Australian Government is committing $35 million to enable more Australian horticulturalists to purchase and install protective netting through the national expansion of the Horticultural Netting Program Trial.
The program expansion will assist growers and local economies as they recover from drought and the pandemic, and support adaptation to Australia’s changing climate.
The expansion of the program aims to:
- provide assistance to growers Australia wide
- develop future resilience against climate change impacts
- improve the quantity and quality of crops
- support the agricultural industry reach its Ag2030 target.
Horticultural production in 2021-22 is forecast to account for 17% of value of farm production, while exports account for 5.5% of farm exports.
In the short to medium term, this co‑investment will support our commitment to growing the value of the agricultural industry to reach its Ag2030 target of $100 billion by 2030.
Australia’s horticultural industry is an important contributor to many rural and regional economies and plays a significant role in ensuring the nation’s food security.
Research shows that properly installed protective netting can significantly improve the quality and quantity of fresh food crops, whilst reducing water usage by up to 30%.
Netting can also minimise damage from birds and flying foxes, improve the quality, reliability and quantity of crops for export and domestic markets, and results in reduced water usage.
You will be able to apply for grants from your respective state or territory government. The program will operate until 30 June 2024, or until all the funds are committed.
The program is already operating in South Australia, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia for a range of horticulture crops. Under the expansion, new and additional funding will be made available to extend the program nationally.