Agriculture is one of the Five Pillars of Tasmania's Future economy.
It is an industry which employs 20,000 Tasmanians and is forecast to generate almost $1 billion at the farm gate this year.
The Liberals bold vision for Agriculture is aimed at growing this vital sector tenfold to $10 billion, by 2050.
To kick start our Agri-Vision 2050 plan a majority Hodgman Liberal Government will make a $4.95 million down payment over 4 years. The emphasis will be on investment, innovation, research, skills development, sustainability and long term post-farm gate value adding.
A high level specialized Division will be created within the State service utilizing existing resources. This Division will be charged with delivering our Agri-Vision 2050 plan and ensuring a whole of government strategic, and long term approach to developing our food and agriculture sector.
Initiatives over the first four years include: $1.5 mil investment in Water for Profit program - to ensure farmers are equipped with the right skills and information to maximize their investment in irrigation. This includes soil mapping, land capability and crop sustainability assessments, market demand appraisals and outlooks, research and extension information.
$900,000 boost to Border Protection - an extra investment in frontline surveillance infrastructure and resources including quarantine detector dog teams to protect our state, our agricultural industry and our brand.
$800,000 Research and Development Innovation Collaboration Fund - to better align agricultural research with the goals of farmers and industry.
$600,000 investment in On Farm Productivity Management Planning - to deliver programs with practical on the ground applications which will assist farmers boost productivity and reduce costs.
$450,000 Agriculture Skills Development Plan - to better align skills required in the farming sector with education and training.
$250,000 for a Low interest HECs-style loan scheme - to give farmers, fruit growers and agri-food businesses the financial support to turn great ideas into long term profit making enterprises.
$450,000 to back Private Forests - we will tear up the IGA and invest in a Private Forest Industry Development Program to support and help grow this sector by providing practical grower initiatives and extension services. Bio-energy and bio-fuel will also be explored as options for wood waste. A majority Hodgman Liberal Government will also take the fight to Canberra for real freight equality, to ensure Tasmanian exporters are placed on an equal footing with their interstate competitors.
Exploring opportunities for Agri-tourism and on farm renewable energy complete our vision to grow our vital agricultural sector tenfold by 2050, generating the economic wealth and jobs that Tasmania needs to be self-reliant. These policy initiatives will be fully funded in the Liberals' upcoming Alternative Budget.