In­vest­ment needed to sup­port cli­mate change adap­ta­tions

The Western Star - - RURAL WEEKLY - Grow­com CEO DAVID THOM­SON

GROW­COM com­mended the new Fed­eral Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter’s re­cent com­ments on the need for cli­mate change adap­ta­tion and push for Aus­tralia to ‘use the best science pos­si­ble’.

Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter David Lit­tleproud wel­comed the agree­ment of agri­cul­ture min­is­ters to sup­port adap­ta­tion to cli­mate change in agri­cul­ture, say­ing there is a “need to help farm­ers adapt and change as the cli­mate changes”.

We are pleased Mr Lit­tleproud has taken a lead­er­ship stance on the is­sue. We en­cour­age the Fed­eral and State gov­ern­ments to pro­vide true sup­port for cli­mate adap­ta­tion and re­new­able so­lu­tions for farm­ers through in­vest­ment. Grow­com has taken a proac­tive stance on the is­sue for a decade, em­ploy­ing a cli­mate and re­silience of­fi­cer.

We have worked to iden­tify the crit­i­cal tem­per­a­ture thresh­olds for hor­ti­cul­ture com­modi­ties and the need for adap­ta­tion and re­silience to ex­treme weather events through a cli­mate mod­ule for our Hort360 BMP pro­gram.

We need an im­ple­men­ta­tion mech­a­nism for the Queens­land Agri­cul­ture Sec­tor Adap­ta­tion Plan, with a sim­i­lar strate­gic ap­proach at a na­tional level, backed by fund­ing.

The plan out­lines key ac­tions that in­clude: bet­ter in­dus­try ac­cess to cli­mate haz­ard in­for­ma­tion; con­tin­ued devel­op­ment of tools and re­sources that sup­port man­age­ment de­ci­sion mak­ing; sup­port to de­liv­ery of en­gage­ment pro­grams; bet­ter ac­cess to agri­cul­ture in­sur­ance; ex­plor­ing mech­a­nisms to en­able cli­mate risk man­age­ment and cli­mate adap­ta­tion across the sup­ply chains; and en­hanc­ing in­vest­ment in in­no­va­tion and re­silience pro­grams.

We strongly con­tend that timely in­vest­ment is needed to ad­dress the nat­u­ral dis­as­ters that our grow­ers face, sav­ing our na­tional econ­omy more money in the long term.

Hor­ti­cul­ture is the ca­nary in the coal mine when it comes to cli­mate change . Many of our com­modi­ties have quite spe­cific tem­per­a­ture needs and high vul­ner­a­bil­ity to ex­treme weather events.

Now is the time to act on cli­mate change to en­sure that we have the right ap­proaches in place and a sup­port­ive op­er­at­ing en­vi­ron­ment that al­lows in­no­va­tive farm­ers to thrive.

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