Fruit growers share in $13.8m

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Grant will help support growers: Some young apples on a Tatura orchard. Photo by Daneka Hill

The Goulburn Valley-based Fruit Growers Victoria will receive $213,820 as part of the Federal Government’s Smart Farms Small Grants program.

This is the final round of the program, which will hand out $13.8 million via 32 grants across the country.

These grants will fund activities such as: engaging soil extension officers, conducting soil management workshops, seminars, roadshows, field days, creating communications products, webinars, establishing trials and monitoring sites.

Federal Member for Nicholls Damien Drum said FGV would use its funding to work with growers and establish a soil testing regime across three fruit growing areas in Victoria.

“By providing this program, growers will be supported to improve their soil management understandings and skills to increase sustainability, productivity and profitability,” Mr Drum said.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the grants would help farms “change the way they look at soil”.

“This is part of the $214.9 million National Soil Strategy, Australia’s first national policy on soil which sets out how we will manage our soil for the next 20 years and will support Aussie farmers and the sector in reaching its Ag2030 goal to grow agriculture to $100 billion by 2030,” Mr Littleproud said.

The Smart Farms program is a key initiative under phase two of the $1.1 billion National Landcare Program.