State funding designed to future-proof farming by developing carbon markets and key assessment framework aims to "strengthen economic and climate resilience in our regions," says deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole who this week announced the $125 million Primary Industries Productivity and Abatement Program.
"Regional NSW is the engine room of the State, with primary producers pumping more than $13 billion into the economy every year," Mr Toole said. "The NSW Government is committed to future-proofing our primary industries by helping farmers diversify their businesses, and strengthen economic and climate resilience in our regions."
Treasurer and Minister for Energy Matt Kean said the primary industries sector is a key driver of economic prosperity in our regions.
"Primary producers and land managers are playing an important role in NSW achieving its goal of reducing emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2050," Mr Kean said.
"This program is about improving both our planet and bottom line by supporting farmers to take up low emissions technologies and sell more produce to consumers who want a low carbon future."
The Primary Industries Productivity and Abatement Program includes $52m to develop market and industry foundations, including trusted and transparent data, metrics and frameworks to assess carbon and biodiversity outcomes, $72mn to build critical mass and capacity, including incentives for land managers to reduce emissions at scale.
A further $1m will go towards accelerating finance for natural capital and low carbon farming, by working with the finance sector to increase investment in that arena.
Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW Dugald Saunders said the NSW Government is continuing to engage with stakeholders on the implementation of the program, with applications for funding to open in the coming months.
"This is all about building economic resilience and creating jobs in regional communities, by encouraging sustainable farming practices through grants programs and partnerships with financial institutions," Mr Saunders said.
"Primary producers are set to benefit from a broad range of support from this program, including advice on how to maximise carbon opportunities in their business, direct funding to projects which reduce emissions and increase sequestration of carbon in soils, and the implementation of more efficient modes of measuring and reporting environmental performance."
Minister for Environment James Griffin said the $125 million investment in the Primary Industries Productivity and Abatement Program will also benefit the environment.
"This funding will unlock the ability of primary producers and land managers to develop new revenue streams through carbon markets while also highlighting the potential biodiversity co-benefits of our natural capital," Mr Griffin said.
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