Victoria’s horticulture industry will benefit from a Commonwealth Government funding boost that will support a new round of grants under the Horticulture Netting Program.
The Commonwealth Government is providing $11.2 million to expand the grant program, building upon an initial $4.6 million investment in 2021 for the first iteration of the program.
The new round of grants will be open to all eligible horticultural enterprises, excluding wine grapes, for the purchase and installation of new netting over established production areas.
Agriculture Victoria Executive Director, Policy and Programs, Sarah-Jane McCormack, said the grants are ideal for producers looking to future-proof their farms.
“The expansion of the Horticultural Netting Program provides a terrific opportunity for horticultural enterprises to receive support for installing netting infrastructure that will increase their resilience to adverse weather events and improve efficiency.”
Agriculture Victoria will implement the grant program on the Commonwealth Government’s behalf.
The grants (capped at $150,000) are available to eligible producers covering up to 50 per cent of the cost to purchase or install horticultural netting over commercial production areas.
Netting has been shown to deliver productivity benefits by protecting crops from extreme weather and predators and increasing water use efficiency.
“These grants provide valuable assistance to growers to increase productivity at a time where they are also bouncing back from the impacts of COVID on their businesses,” Ms McCormack said.
Applications are now open and will close on 17 October 2022.