Around $2 million in funding is now available for projects to improve market access for Australian dairy, egg, fish, grain, plant, horticulture and meat exports, through Round 2 of the Package Assisting Small Exporters (PASE).
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the funding was part of the Coalition’s 2013 election commitment which provides $15 million over four years to boost trade opportunities for small exporters.
“The Government is committed to building our regions and that means building our export markets to create more jobs and wealth in regional Australia,” Minister Joyce said.
“Australia produces some of the world’s best agricultural goods, which has helped us maintain our fair share of valuable market access and ensures strong farmgate returns for our farmers.
“To make sure that this remains the case into the future, we need to support our small exporters to take advantage of new and improved market opportunities.
“Through Round 1 of PASE we funded 41 projects worth approximately $8.9 million, which included initiatives to help table grape growers get simpler and faster export accreditation, and help for small to medium dairy businesses to be better placed to export.”
Other projects funded under Round 1 included $250,000 to support Australian avocado growers to access markets in Asia and the Middle East, more than $270,000 for two projects to boost the overall potential of kangaroo meat exports and more than $340,000 to support valuable opportunities for NSW cherry exports into international markets, like Indonesia.
Mr Adam Coleman, Development Officer at the New South Wales (NSW) Department of Primary Industries, said PASE had helped improve the NSW cherry industry’s potential for market access, through the development of a “seasonal pest absence approach” to Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF).
“PASE allowed us to get this project up and running to support potential export opportunities for the industry and we wouldn’t have been able to achieve what we have without it,” Mr Coleman said.
Minister Joyce said the Coalition Government wanted to see more of these projects brought to life with Round 2 officially open to interested parties, who can now apply for a share of almost $2 million to further improve Australia’s competitiveness in the international marketplace.
“I would strongly encourage those with an innovative, valuable idea that will support Australia’s small exporters to get their submission in by 27 March to help us ensure a sustainable and bright future for our agriculture industries,” Minister Joyce said.