Risks, gains of life down on the farm

A FORUM looking at ways of improving the profitability of the farm sector was held in Tamworth yesterday, with federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce among the speakers. 

It follows the start of the consultation process for the federal government’s Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, due out by the end of the year, and was a chance for farmers and industry stakeholders to have their say on the paper and put ideas directly to Mr Joyce.

He was joined on the stage by Mick Keogh, from the Australian Farm Institute, who considered risk in agriculture, Steve Carroll, formerly of the Australian Bankers’ Association, who gave a financial industry perspective; James Smith, North West Agri-finance, with his take on controlling revenue; and Agripath’s Sam Newsome, on controlling costs.

Held at the Tamworth Golf Club, NSW Farmers’ public affairs director Veneta Chapple emphasised it was a NSW Farmers’ forum, not a government-run event.

“But we are shaping it to align with the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper and the information we collect in the forum will support and be included in our submission to the white paper,” Ms Chapple said.

Public submissions close on April 17.

It occurred on the same day Fairfax Media reported industry concerns that Australia’s competitiveness on the global agricultural stage was under threat from governnent policy.

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