$50 million rural grants open to Cowper businesses

CLARENCE Valley agricultural businesses are encouraged to apply for grant funding through a second round of the Government's Rural Research and Development (R&D) for Profit Programme.

"R&D projects are vital to the North Coast economy to boost profitability and productivity of local horticulture producers in the Cowper electorate, and across the nation," Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker said.

Recent Department of Employment figures show about 6,900 people are employed in Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry in the Coffs Harbour-Grafton region.

The R&D for Profit Program is a $100 million Coalition election commitment, with a further $100 million committed as part of the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper to extend the programme out to 2020-2021.

"The program encourages collaboration between industry, researchers and Rural Research and Development Corporations (RDCs) on projects that will deliver real benefits on the farm," Mr Hartsuyker said.

"The focus is on developing and delivering cutting edge research and technologies in a way that is practical and accessible for primary producers.

"Round 1 of the program saw more than $26 million in grants approved that will deliver real benefits at the farm gate, including better control methods for major weeds that threaten profitability, and resources to support farmers identify and capitalise on opportunities in export markets."

Applications for Rural Research and Development for Profit Round 2 must be received by the Department of Agriculture by 5pm (AEST) on December 1, 2015.

For more information, visit agriculture.gov.au/rd4profit.



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