More than $17.5 million worth of netting projects to protect crops have been funded in the greater Adelaide, Adelaide Hills and Riverland areas with the Commonwealth and Marshall Liberal Government’s Horticultural Netting Infrastructure Grants program reaching the halfway milestone.
More than $8 million of grants out of the $14.6 million program has been committed to help primary producers purchase and install new netting or replace any damaged netting to protect vital horticulture crops.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said more than 83 projects across South Australia had been funded.
“The Marshall Liberal Government is backing business and supporting local jobs by helping the horticultural industry protect crops,” Minister Basham said.
“We know horticultural netting can help limit the impact from weather events such as hailstorms and wind, protect produce from pests and also save water but the cost of purchasing and installing can be prohibitive for some growers.
“Our $14.6 million horticultural netting grants program is helping break down these barriers and is open to primary producers in the greater Adelaide, Adelaide Hills and Riverland areas with growers able to apply for up to half of the costs associated with horticulture netting, up to a maximum of $300,000.
“South Australian farmers and horticulturalists grow world-class produce, but they have had to deal with some challenging conditions in the past few years.
“The grants program is a major investment in our premium South Australian crops and our fantastic growers who work so hard to produce them and as an added bonus it also supports local jobs during construction.
“We have now committed more than half this funding which has unlocked more than $17.5 million worth of projects across South Australia. Together with primary producers co-investing nearly 550 hectares of valuable horticulture crops such as apples and pears will be covered.”
The grants were announced in June 2020 in the wake of hailstorms over recent years.
“This is assisting the local economy by protecting valuable crops, putting more money back into producers’ pocket and in their regional economies, whilst supporting the South Australian Growth State target of $23 billion in food, wine and agribusiness revenue by 2030” Minister Basham said.
The program which is funded by the Commonwealth and administered by the State Government and will operate until 30 June 2023 or until funds are fully committed. Eligible growers are required to at least match the grant contribution and the grants will be capped at $300,000 (GST exclusive) per farmer.
For more information: https://www.pir.sa.gov.au/major_programs/horticulture-netting-grants