NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair said a strong budgetary position has allowed the NSW Government to continue to provide practical assistance for the primary industries sector, exemplified by a $6 million four-year investment in the Young Farmer Business Program.
Mr Blair highlighted the program at a special Farm Writers Association of NSW lunch attended by more than 100 agri-business leaders in Sydney.
“Our research told us that young farmers did not have the same access to finance as did the more established producers, a market failure which, if left unchecked, would pose a significant problem for an aging sector,” Mr Blair said.
“The program, jointly developed by DPI and NSW Farmers’ Association, will provide professional development, coaching, workshops, scholarships and mentoring to more than 8,000 young producers.
“The objective of the program is to ensure our young farmers are business ready, financially savvy and, in turn, able to engage with financial lenders on a more equal playing field.”
Mr Blair said he was delighted to meet two young farmers who have participated in the program – Claire Walker, an agri-banker in Wagga Wagga and Brendan Murray a producer in the organic horticulture sector at Coleambally.
“If Claire and Brendan are just some of the examples to go by, then the future of farming in this State is in very safe hands.”
The 2017 budget also delivered $12million in savings to farmers through the removal of stamp duty on crop and stock insurance, effective from 1 January 2018.
“Abolishing stamp duty on livestock and crop insurance is a simple way the NSW Government can increase the attractiveness of these products while reducing the financial burden on our farmers,” Mr Blair said.
“Both these investments are further proof of this Government’s commitment to our farmers and making sure they are able to manage risk in the coming years.”
Source: NSW Government