News

Drought support goes digital to improve access

By Jamie Salter

Drought funding and support programs have now moved online to allow easier access for farmers.

The initiative will deliver computer literacy programs to farmers across the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District to improve confidence and decision-making skills and online financial literacy workshops.

Agriculture Victoria will also offer online programs such as learning modules on soil and irrigation management, and a water calculator to help make important decisions on water requirements.

Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes said while good rainfall in many parts of Victoria was promising, it was still vital to support farmers who continue to do it tough.

“This is about ensuring farmers remain competitive and can access the information they need to maintain productivity during future dry conditions,” Ms Symes said.

Farms and related small businesses in affected areas can access free and independent financial counselling from the Rural Financial Counselling Service, with $640 000 allocated from the program to provide small business financial counsellors.

Funding to the RFCS has also been made available to support farm recovery efforts, including $80 000 for Gippsland, $640 000 for the north-east and $400 000 for the north-west services.

The Dedicated Dairy Support Program has been extended for another year, with $320 000 to help dairy farmers in northern Victoria scale up, scale back or transition out of the industry.

For more information about drought and dry seasonal conditions support and advice, visit: agriculture.vic.gov.au/dryseasons