Fighting for our farmers' future

Thursday 26 July, 2012

Banks cut Agri Loan Rates

The NFF has released the July Agribusiness Loan Monitor, which shows that agribusiness rates have fallen across the board over the past month.

The Monitor shows that all financial lenders have passed on interest rate cuts by between 0.20 and 0.44 percent for their term loans, and between 0.20 and 0.40 percent for their overdraft rates.

This is the first time since the introduction of the Monitor in June 2011, and since the Reserve Bank of Australia began dropping rates in November 2011, that all the financial lenders have passed on rate cuts to the agribusiness sector. For more, view the July Agribusiness Loan Monitor, or read our release.

Next step on National Food Plan

Last week, the Federal Government released the National Food Plan green paper, outlining many of the issues in securing a sustainable food system.

We believe the Plan has the potential to address many of our sector's concerns about future food production and food availability - in a nutshell, identifying ways to help farmers grow more with less.

Our submission to the National Food Plan issues paper called for a focus on the innovation and productivity improvements that our farmers will need to increase food production with limited resources. We're pleased to see that the green paper identified the importance of research, development and innovation to sustainable food production in Australia, along with the need to seize new market opportunities and contribute to the economic prosperity of rural and regional Australia.

The NFF will continue to contribute to the development of the National Food Plan, as we continue to create our own Blueprint for Australian Agriculture on behalf of, and with input from, the agricultural sector. For more, read our
release.

Greater R&D investment needed

Following the release of the National Food Plan green paper, the Government this week announced improvements to Australia’s rural research, development and extension efforts.

The NFF believes the Government’s plan to increase transparency, coordination and value for money within the existing research and development (R&D) model is positive, yet more also needs to be done to ensure increased investment in Australian agriculture R&D.

R&D is of fundamental importance to Australian farmers and the future of our agricultural sector. We already know that we need to grow more to feed the booming world population – and we know that we have less land, water and human resources with which to do so.

Achieving this will require not only efficiencies in the current R&D model, but also a lift in research spending. For more, read our release.

Reminder: NFF National Congress

A reminder that the NFF National Congress 2012 will be held in Canberra on Monday 22 and Tuesday 23 October, bringing together Australian agriculture: farmers, industry
and government from grassroots to global.

The NFF Congress will look at the major issues affecting the Australian agricultural sector on both a policy-development level and a practical on-farm level.

The Congress will focus on the need to ensure future food and fibre availability and the opportunities for Australian agriculture in feeding and clothing the world. While the mining boom is currently high on the national agenda, it will be the Australia food and fibre boom that helps us meet the needs of the growing world population; helps secure Australia's position in the Asian century; and helps Australia grow its exports - both produce and knowledge.

The Congress is open to all within agriculture, and farmers are strongly encouraged to attend. Full Congress registration will open on 1 August 2012: to register your interest, or for further information, visit the Congress website today.

The NFF AGvocate
Issue 21.

In this issue

Banks cut Agri Loan Rates

Next step on National Food Plan

Greater R&D investment needed

Reminder: NFF National Congress

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