Exports set to soar with $5.3m grants package

Exports set to soar with $5.3m grants package article image

SME horticulture exporters are the big winners under a new $5.3 million funding package unveiled by Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce.

The grants, which will fund 31 projects across a variety of commodities, are part of the federal government’s Package Assisting Small Exporters program.

The government has committed through $15 million over the next four years to support small exporters – including fish, meat, egg, dairy, grains and horticulture.

“Access to premium overseas markets is an important element of driving profits back through the farmgate for our nation’s farmers,” said Mr Joyce.

Under this year’s round of grants, almost $1.9 million has been provided for small exporters in the horticulture sector.

Mango and avocado growers are among the major winners, with avocado growers looking to the lucrative Asian and Middle East region.

“Table grape and citrus growers will get fast, simple online export accreditation, and cherry and stonefruit growers get help to reinforce our reputation as a reliable supplier of safe and quality produce,” said Mr Joyce.

Kangaroo exporters are set to receive a share of $350,000 in order to develop better quality controls for their products.  

Breaking into new overseas markets

And small grain exporters will receive a funding boost of more than $1.1 million under the new package.

A total of $984,500 has also been provided for small dairy businesses as well as over $930,000 for small seafood exporters.

The seafood grants will help Abalone fishers and oyster growers break into new overseas markets.

“The Australian Abalone Council will receive funding to develop market access strategies and the Tasmanian Oyster Council will receive backing to restart exports to the United States,” said Mr Joyce.

“The seafood industry is a significant contributor to the economy of regional communities and these grants safeguard and grow the more than $500 million forecast in export earnings for this year.”

Mr Joyce said the grants also exploit new technologies, with a mobile app for kangaroo products, online systems making it easier and quicker for table grape and citrus growers to get export accreditation and one-stop-shop databases helping grain growers negotiating prices.

Study into innovative packaging of vegetables

“Tea Tree oil growers will be one step closer to exporting to the massive European Union market and egg producers will be able to set-up a national Salmonella monitoring program that could open up markets for this export industry,” Mr Joyce said.

“There’s also a study into innovative packaging for green leafy vegetables that could not only improve the shelf life of vegetables but may broaden markets for a host of horticultural products.

“These grants give export industries a leg up to international markets. They will help agribusinesses, and their regional communities, grow.”

The funding announcement comes as the Government continues to negotiate its free trade agreement with China and the completion of Free Trade Agreements with Japan and Korea.

They are in addition to the $1.3 million already provided in rebates to assist small exporters with export registration charges.

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