Time to think big about Australian agriculture

South Australia’s agricultural community is being urged to have its say on the future of the industry following the release today of an issues paper on agricultural competitiveness by Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce.

Minister Joyce, who in December released the Government’s Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, has called on Australians to get involved in the process.

“Whether you’re drenching sheep, mustering cattle or sitting on a tractor, you always had in the back of your mind what you would do to make the show work better,” he said. “Well, this is your opportunity to do precisely that.”

Senator for South Australia Anne Ruston said she welcomed the release of the issues paper and was confident the State’s agricultural community had much to offer the process.

“The issues paper identifies the key matters on which the Government is seeking input, and this input will guide the development of the White Paper,” Senator Ruston said. “These issues include enhancing our agricultural exports, access to finance, competitiveness through the value chain, reducing regulation and managing drought.

“South Australia produces some of the best food and wine in the world and has pioneered many developments that are common in modern agriculture. Our farmers are innovative and passionate about their industry, and I know from personalexperience they have many ideas about how the industry can be more competitive.

“This issues paper is an opportunity for these ideas to be heard, and I urge everyone to get involved and have their say.”

Consultations on the issues paper in South Australia will take place in Adelaide, Renmark and Crystal Brook. Dates and venues will be announced soon. The Government also welcomes written submissions to the process, with a deadline of 5pm AEST 17 April 2014.

More information on the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, issues paper and consultation process are available at www.agriculturalcompetitiveness.dpmc.gov.au.

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