Farmers should snap up regional development grants

The Victorian Farmers Federation is encouraging farmers to make the most of the Victorian Government’s $500 million Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund (RJIF), with grants aimed at boosting business confidence in rural Victoria.

Bridgewater Poultry Farms, based in the Loddon-Mallee, is the latest business to benefit from the program after successfully gaining a grant to upgrade its production system and facilities.

Bridgewater owner and VFF Egg Group President Tony Nesci said the grant was an investment in the local economy and would be used to create more jobs for his business and the Loddon district.

“This is a great initiative to put much-needed funding into our rural industries and ensure they remain viable,” Mr Nesci said.

“We are a large employer for the Loddon-Mallee because we have 30 full-time-equivalent staff members, but once we expand our capacity, we will need six more full-time-equivalent roles.”

Bridgewater is expected to increase its production capability from eight million dozen eggs to 10.5 million dozen eggs each year as a result of the grant.

Mr Nesci encouraged other regional business owners to support the economic development of their communities by applying for grant funding under the program.

“You might be out there trying to earn a living as a small or medium size business in a tough climate, but this grant is a great way to help you achieve your goals and support your region,” he said.

The RJIF is an overarching regional development package that encourages investment in employment, infrastructure and community initiatives across the State.

Proposals for grants can be made by businesses, industry groups, regional and rural local government authorities, government agencies, not-for-profit organisations and community groups.

Source: VFF