New collaborations seeded as farmers & regional communities ripen to idea of innovation

5 March
The Hon. Jaala Pulford MLC, Minister for Agriculture with veski chairman Professor Snow Barlow and local farmers Rocco and Santo Varapodio
The Hon. Jaala Pulford MLC, Minister for Agriculture with veski chairman Professor Snow Barlow and local farmers Rocco and Santo Varapodio

Farmers, researchers, scientists and industry leaders are being encouraged to work together to stimulate and further develop Australia’s food and agricultural industries with innovative solutions being funded through a new veski sustainable agricultural fellowships program.

The new national program, launched in Shepparton on Thursday, 5 March 2015 by The Hon. Jaala Pulford MLC, Minister for Agriculture and Minister for Regional Development will provide up to $220,000 for successful projects to bring world leading specialists and researchers to Australia to work in collaboration with farmers, industry and government.

Expressions of interest for the veski sustainable agricultural fellowships are now sought from community stakeholders, educational institutions, industry, government and philanthropic groups with collaborations that will stimulate and further develop Australia’s food and agricultural industries with innovative solutions to address critical issues in the agricultural sector across Australia and achieve prosperity and sustainability.

The funding will support research and development solutions tailored to suit local conditions and emerging international markets for food, fibre and agricultural services, and will address key areas such as sustainability, food security, traceability, innovative technologies and process improvement.

Organisations and individuals from across Australia will have the opportunity to submit ideas for funding, with priority given to those located in regional areas, and the Victorian Minister for Agriculture believes that Victorian farmers will contribute a significant number of ideas during this first round of veski sustainable agricultural fellowships.

The Hon. Jaala Pulford MLC, Minister for Agriculture and Minister for Regional Development said, “I’m confident Victoria’s regional communities will take advantage of the first round of this innovative new program from veski and generate a range of ideas which will inspire the rest of Australia to develop their own unique proposals.”

veski chairman Professor Snow Barlow, who is a plant physiologist and agricultural scientist as well as a viticulturist and farmer, believes innovation and collaboration can transform local economies, grow local industries and provide jobs for thousands of people struggling across the nation.

“This is an opportunity to put innovative ideas into practice allowing Australians to take advantage of incredible opportunities in the food and agricultural sectors, such as the Asian dining boom, or solve complex problems facing Australian farmers from drought to logistics to processing,” Professor Barlow said.

veski is committed to supporting collaborations and innovative thinking and is bringing a unique approach to regional communities giving them the opportunity to develop ideas through collaborative projects, and see these ideas come to fruition,” Professor Barlow added.

Expressions of interest must be submitted by Thursday, 16 April 2015 via www.veski.org.au/agri, and will be reviewed by the veski sustainable agricultural advisory group consisting of farmers, industry, philanthropic and government representatives and scientists. 

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