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Delivering on a Vision for Agriculture – the Rice Industry Experience Louise Adcock Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia Our Australian Rice Industry.

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Presentation on theme: "Delivering on a Vision for Agriculture – the Rice Industry Experience Louise Adcock Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia Our Australian Rice Industry."— Presentation transcript:

1 Delivering on a Vision for Agriculture – the Rice Industry Experience Louise Adcock Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia Our Australian Rice Industry Growing Rice to Feed the World



4 Industry Facts Over 2000 farming families Direct industry employment of 6,000 and indirect employment of over 13,000 $800 million industry - $500 million from value-added exports Paddock to plate industry Around 85% of Australia’s rice is exported Feeds up to 40 million people every day Improved WUE by 60% in last 10 years High level of commitment to Research & Development

5 Rice based systems  average farm = 500 ha  high level of self regulation  soil suitability  1/3 only of permitted area  strict water use targets  rice/wheat rotation  50% less water than world ave  complementary system ‘working wetlands’, min. weeds

6 Environmental Programs 10 years ago LWMP’s Rice Policy Landcare Groups Regional Programs Development of Policy Australian Leader in Env. Improvement Key messages based on fact Flagship Programs –Biodiversity & Greenhouse Strategy Where are we now? $3 million funding Support from peak Green groups Image of industry improved Rice sits at the table Industry Coordination

7 Biodiversity Programs Biodiversity Strategy and Plan (BS&P) for the rice industry –Build the capacity of growers to provide a flexible approach = 17 practical actions - A coordinated industry approach to biodiversity enhancement across the rice growing region - Develop a model that is adaptable and transferable to other agricultural industries.

8 Greenhouse Program Aims:  Identify & mitigate significant emissions points in rice based systems & processing operations  Achieve cost savings on farm (BMP guidelines)  Develop an industry benchmark – greenhouse scorecard  Develop innovative greenhouse gas solutions  Industry & grower training

9 Farmer’s Futures….. What are farmers biggest fears about their future?  Complex legislation, environmental issues  Confusing messages  Lack of ownership or understand benefits/risks  Not recognised for NR management  Perceptions  No $ link to demonstrating env. performance  Understanding of benefits of env. to production system = barriers to implementation

10 10 KEY MANAGEMENT PATHWAYS ‘Sustainable risk areas which link on farm to catchment targets’ 5 LEVELS: BUILDING CAPACITY OF GROWERS ‘Builds grower knowledge & skills to achieve on-ground outcomes’ PARTICIPATION RECOGNITION EVIDENCE Drivers:  Community Expectations  NRM Reform  LWMP & CMB’s  Farmers & Industry Motivation  Industry Leadership Environmental Champions Program Structure Collectively agreed upon by all relevant regional organisations Voluntary Provides encouragement & support Simplifies Complexities Makes good business sense Provides solutions for hurdles Achieves Environment Outcomes (Legacy) Achieves Business Outcomes ($) Achieves Social Outcomes (communities) Its flexible, practical & adaptable Assists delivery of partner programs (60% of ECP is existing regional programs) For all irrigated cropping systems Acknowledgment of management ~ current & future Includes existing regional programs Assists existing QA programs Demonstrates credible evidence of environmental improvement ~ Improves industry image ~ Informs NRM policies

11 Environmental Champions Program Level 1: Basic Industry Standards Level 2: Planning for Beyond Industry Standards Level 3: Putting Plans into Action & Enhancing Biodiversity Level 4: Trade, Innovation & Eco-Efficiencies Level 5: Regional Efforts towards Catchment

12 Our Partners – working together Rice growers Murrumbidgee Irrigation Murray Irrigation Coleambally Irrigation DIPNR Workcover EPA Landcare NSW Agriculture NPWS Australian Greenhouse Office DAFF State Govt Support Conservation Volunteers CMA – Murray & Murrumbidgee Rice CRC Environment Australia CSIRO Land & Water University of Canberra Charles Sturt University SMEC DRNE (Vic) EPA & Workcover (Vic) Goulbourn Valley Water (Vic) Australian Conservation Foundation World Wide Fund for Nature

13 Why Cluster Groups….. Business network groups – beyond ECP Promote landholders ‘working together’ – creates efficiencies A more effective way of utilising resources - harnessing solutions to hurdles etc & achieving outcomes Acts as a motivational tool Shares knowledge and ideas

14 Why cluster groups…. Materials designed to assist them to assist themselves Creates ownership of program as they determine their own targets Contributes to the fabric of their local community by including their partners and their families. Positive & fun atmosphere

15 Current Status ColeamballyMurrayMurrumbidgeeTOTAL Recognised Level 1 Champions 2121630 Cluster Groups 413724 Farm Businesses Involved 2511746188 Level 1 participants 2510535165 Level 2 participants 0121729 Prospective Groups 3238

16 Lessons Learnt Be proactive Recognise your industries issues Turn visions into actions Engaging people means communicating effectively Create ownership on all levels – be inclusive, not exclusive Focus on the people, not the content! Work with other commodity groups not against

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