THE Horticultural Netting Program has been extended to the tune of $35 million.
Set up to support horticulturalists invest in protective netting, the federal government initiative will allow growers to be able to apply for grants in coming months and the program will operate until June 30, 2025 or until all the funds are committed.
The program trial to date allowed growers in South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria to supplement half the cost of purchasing and installing protective netting, enabling them to protect their crops and secure their investment.
A total of $23.6 million in funding was originally committed to trials in SA, WA, Queensland and Victoria.
One hundred and eighty-three grants to farmers have been approved to date under the initial trial to cover apple, pear, cherry and vine crops.
Federal agriculture minister David Littleproud said the expansion of the program will support resilience against climate change while improving the quantity and quality of crops to support the agricultural industry reach its Ag2030 target.
"Protective netting, which can reduce the impact of weather events and pests, is a significant cost barrier for a lot of horticulturalists across Australia," Mr Littleproud said.
"That is why we are co-investing in horticultural netting to secure Australia's food supply while we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and recent natural disasters across the country.
"It will ensure that producers can purchase and install new netting to protect their crops from extreme weather and predators, and increase water use efficiency.
Mr Littleproud said the funding expands the trial nationally with allocated funding reflecting the level of horticultural production in each jurisdiction.
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