Farmers are planting small crops amid mounting invoices, severe manpower shortages, and the closure of the food service sector. This is what they need.
Australian farmers are in dire straits, with fruit and vegetable farmers begging for more attention to keep food on the shelf.
Due to severe labor shortages and rising commodity prices, locks have closed the food service sector: Farmers have no choice but to plant smaller crops, which means lower yields for consumers.
“Farmers are always vulnerable and try to do their best, but they did that in the first year (of the epidemic),” said Nathan Free, president of the Victorian Farmers’ Federation.
“We have to take care of them now because the second year – the second year of mental health, the second year there is no labor, the export market is weak, etc. – this is a difficult time.
Since we cannot do the third, we must look to the whole of the horticulture and agriculture sectors.
Mr Fry said farmers could not grow as much as they wanted because they needed to cut costs to pay their bills.
For gardeners, Australia’s largest industry, Awswig, says there are a number of key issues facing the industry.
No matter how hard it is to say, spoiled food is likely to be wasted due to extended locks in NSW and Victoria, and producers will be severely affected during their stay.
Meanwhile, Australia’s deep-seated agricultural crisis has been exacerbated by border closures, with an estimated 24,000 harvest workers expected by early 2022.
“While the country’s shortages are hurting producers, the situation is dire in Victoria because there is no neutral way for seasonal workers to harvest, harvest and pack crops on fruit and vegetable farms,” said Auswig CEO Michael Cote.
Out of a total shortage of 24,000 workers, 19,000 are expected to have experience in the region.
He said the quarantine route would be reopened immediately to prevent vegetables from rotting in the ground and being picked.
Due to labor shortages, farmers from all over the country have heard reports of rising prices for commodities such as fertilizers, trucks and other essential agricultural inputs.
Mr Fry said people who need to understand agriculture cannot stop today and start tomorrow. He is calling for an open dialogue with the government on how independent facilities are being built, operated and managed, and that he needs more support for the VV-19 investigation in the region.
“We don’t want the government to do all the work. We want to be at the table to see how we can do that.”
Lack of energy and anything that stands in the supply chain, and farmers have to leave fruit on the trees because the distribution center or processing plant is locked and we often have fruit flies and other diseases come from vegetables or planted fields.
Victoria Agriculture Minister Mary-Ann Thomas says preparations are underway with Tasmania and the Commonwealth governments to protect the neutrality of Pacific workers.