Agriculture Stewardship Package
The Agriculture Stewardship Package will further strengthen the Government’s commitment to sustainable development through the National Landcare Program, which is already investing $1 billion from 2018–19 to June 2023.
Why is this important?
The four year, $34 million Agriculture Stewardship Package comprises:
- Agriculture Biodiversity Policy
- Developing a national vision, to be shared by farmers and the community.
- The aim will be to find alignment between the public and farm sector on what is biodiversity best practice.
- The policy will deliver a common understanding of agriculture’s role in improving Australia’s biodiversity outcomes.
- Agriculture Biodiversity Stewardship Pilot Program
- Will make grants available to incentivise the adoption of improved biodiversity practices on farms.
- Focuses on small and medium farm businesses, using tailored approaches to incentivise and support practice change.
- Invests in developing methodologies to support the pilot, and monitoring and evaluation to quantify the benefits to production and biodiversity.
- The pilot will run alongside the development of the policy and pilot of the Australian Farm Biodiversity Certification Scheme, providing an input to the policy development.
- The Australian National University will use a $3.4 million grant to develop a monitoring, reporting and measuring framework to support the Agriculture Biodiversity Stewardship Pilot Program and the certification scheme.
- Australian Farm Biodiversity Certification Scheme
- The aim of the voluntary Scheme is to allow Australian farms to showcase best practice biodiversity management of natural resources – and to ensure these actions are recognisable by the community.
- A $4 million grant agreement has been signed with the National Farmers' Federation (NFF) to lead work on the development of the Scheme. This includes:
- research on existing certification/verification schemes, sustainability frameworks and best management practices internationally and domestically, and identification of critical success factors (Phase 1);
- the development of a certification/verification scheme (Phase 2);
- undertaking necessary trials and assessment of the readiness of farmers to participate (Phase 3).
- Work by the Australian National University will contribute to the development of the Australian Farm Biodiversity Certification Scheme, which would be administered independently.
Who will benefit?
Farmers, as stewards of the environment and as land managers are providing benefits to the wider community. Many small and medium sized farmers would like to do more and the Government is taking the lead to support further stewardship activities by farmers.
On ground trials under the Agriculture Biodiversity Stewardship Pilot Program and the Australian Farm Biodiversity Certification Scheme are expected to commence in 2021.
What will this cost?
- Agriculture Biodiversity Stewardship Pilot Program $30m
- Australian Farm Biodiversity Certification Scheme $4m