Agricultural cooperation with China set to benefit from funding round

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources are seeking applications from Australian farm businesses and organisations looking to undertake projects and trade missions to boost the agricultural trading relationship between Australia and China in 2017.

Australia’s $12.7 billion two-way agricultural trade relationship with China is set to be further strengthened, with applications now open for funding through the Australia-China Agricultural Cooperation Agreement (ACACA) programme.

Deputy Secretary, David Parker, said agricultural trade and investment with China continues to be of vital importance to Australia, with both countries sharing a strong history of working together to exchange skills and information to promote agricultural cooperation between the two nations.

“The ACACA programme has laid a strong foundation which has now been used strategically to develop new opportunities presented by the China–Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA),” Mr Parker said.

“ChAFTA eliminates tariffs on key commodities where there is growing demand—like beef, sheep meat, hides and skins, dairy, horticulture, wine and seafood—making Australian exports more attractive to Chinese importers and consumers.

“This year’s ACACA programme will continue to provide two streams of funding, covering projects and trade missions in priority areas, including e-commerce innovation, sustainable agricultural technology, sanitary and phytosanitary training, agricultural products processing and commodity production research.

“I encourage interested farm businesses and organisations to apply for programme funding.”

The programme will support activities including technical exchanges, staff secondments, working groups, training programmes, research and development and information exchanges.

ACACA has been a key part of Australia’s bilateral trade relationship for more than 30 years. Examples of recent ACACA-funded projects include:

  • the introduction and demonstration of e-Bale technology—a tracking system for wool bales—to the Chinese wool industry and exchange information related to the potential of the technology
  • the development of bilateral applications of new spatial and digital technologies for cropping between Australia and China
  • promotion of opportunities and benefits under ChAFTA by the ABC Landline program.

ABC’s Landline ‘Window on China’ series was partially funded as a $44,000 project under the ACACA. The next instalment of the series will air on ABC Landline at noon on Sundays, 12 and 19 February 2017.

For more information on the ACACA programme and to apply for funding, visit the department website.

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