Victoria’s fruit and vegetable industry will benefit from Commonwealth Government funding supporting a new round of grants under the Horticulture Networks programme.
The Commonwealth Government is providing $11.2 million to expand the grant program, building on an initial investment of $4.6 million for the first iteration of the program in 2021.
The new subsidy will be open to all eligible horticultural enterprises, excluding grape vines, to purchase new nets and plant them in established production areas.
Agriculture Victoria’s executive director, policy and programs, Sarah-Jane McCormack, said the grants were ideal for producers looking to future-proof their farms.
“The expansion of the Horticulture Network Program provides a great opportunity for horticultural enterprises to install net infrastructure that increases their resilience to adverse weather events and provides support that improves efficiency.”
Agriculture Victoria implements the support program on behalf of the Commonwealth Government.
The grants (capped at $150,000) are available to eligible growers to cover up to 50 percent of the cost of purchasing or installing horticultural nets at commercial production sites.
The net has been proven to provide productivity benefits by protecting crops from adverse weather and predators and increasing water use efficiency.
McCormack said: “These grants will provide valuable assistance to manufacturers to increase productivity as they recover from the impact of Covid on their businesses.”
Applications are now open and close on 17 October 2022.