Programme 1.1: Agricultural adaptation
Programme objectivesThe programme objective for 2014–15 was to:
- increase the capacity for primary producers to adapt and adjust to change in climate while maintaining productivity.
Agricultural adaptation reduces the negative effects of climate change and allows farmers and other land managers to capitalise on new opportunities.
We manage Australian Government policies and programmes to provide information and research funding that help primary producers make decisions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to adapt and respond to climate change. More information is available on the department's website.
We also work with the Department of Human Services (DHS) to provide targeted financial assistance. The Interim Farm Household Allowance opened on 1 March 2014 and was replaced by the Farm Household Allowance (FHA) on 1 July 2014. Further information about the FHA is available in Programme 1.12: Rural programmes.
|Key performance indicator||2014–15 target||Performance|
|Effective policies, programmes and regulations that contribute to enhanced productivity, profitability, competitiveness and sustainability||Accurate and timely advice provided a||Met||–||–|
|Administer ongoing projects according to deed of agreement requirements for payments and acquittals by June 2017||100% of contracted milestones for financial year met a||Partially met||–||–|
|Claims processed in accordance with the Interim Farm Household Allowance Service Schedule with the Department of Human Services, which includes requirements that: |
|95% a, c||Unable to report||–||–|
|Underpinning research, advice, forecast, projects, products and data services meet stakeholder expectations, and are delivered within agreed timelines||85% b||Met||Met||Met|
a New performance indicator. b Client satisfaction based on an annual survey of ABARES clients. c Timeliness data is not available. While new claims for the Interim Farm Household Allowance could not be lodged after 30 June 2014, DHS continued to manually process the remaining claims that were on hand. Timeliness of claims processed was not captured as this was an interim payment implemented at short notice.
Supporting emissions reduction
Programmes under Carbon Farming Futures continued to deliver research, development and extension projects in partnership with research and farm business organisations, community groups and extension providers. The projects support the Emissions Reduction Fund under the Direct Action Plan by providing farmers with options to participate in land sector emissions management activities.
The target to achieve 100 per cent of contracted milestones was ‘partially met’ in 2014–15. Some projects progressed slower than planned, in most cases because of drought or other unforeseen events.
Filling the Research GapThis programme continued to support the development of technological and management options to increase the adaptive capacity of Australian farm enterprises and to maintain or increase productivity under a changing climate.
Action on the GroundThis programme continued to assist primary producers and land managers to trial research approaches to reducing agricultural emissions in real farm operations. Outcomes from these projects will help producers reduce farm input costs, increase their efficiency and improve farm competitiveness, profitability and sustainability.
Extension and Outreach
This programme supported 24 projects to deliver current and consistent information to farmers, land managers and their key influencers about land sector emissions management. These projects, three of which have been completed, are also supporting appropriate land sector participation in the Emissions Reduction Fund. The programme is building the capacity of the existing national extension network to deliver this information through existing and new information channels.
The extension and outreach projects are providing information and advice to Australia’s largest agricultural industries—including livestock, dairy, horticulture, cotton and grains—as well as agricultural advisers, fertiliser users and young farmers.
Transition to the Farm Household Allowance
The Parliament passed legislation in March 2014 to give effect to the FHA. All clients on the Interim Farm Household Allowance were successfully moved to the FHA by 30 September 2014.
The uptake of the FHA during implementation was significantly higher than anticipated. To ensure Interim Farm Household Allowance recipients did not experience a break in payment during the transition, they continued to be paid the interim allowance while their application was processed, up to 30 September 2014.
The DHS allocated additional resources to process FHA applications. As a result, all Interim Farm Household recipients had their FHA claim processed by 30 September 2014.
Carbon Farming Initiative
In December 2014, the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) was folded into the Emissions Reduction Fund. This change in the policy mechanism affected all of the Carbon Farming Futures programmes, but in particular the Extension and Outreach programme. We provided additional information sessions to Extension and Outreach programme grantees, focusing on the Emissions Reduction Fund and the effect of the policy changes on CFI projects.