The ability of FarmLink’s grower members to prepare and respond to drought will be enhanced with the opening of a Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub for the southern NSW region.
Announced on April 12 by Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud, the southern NSW Hub will be one of eight across Australia focusing on user-centred agricultural innovation and research.
It will bring together a consortium of research providers – including FarmLink – and users who will work collaboratively to address local drought resilience research and innovation priorities, with the core aims of ensuring research is useful and accessible for primary producers and increasing opportunities to commercialise innovation.
To be housed in the AgriPark at Charles Sturt University, the Hub will support development and uptake of innovative technologies and practices that improve drought resilience. The University will also oversee the co-design with farmers and communities of innovative projects to ensure they deliver what is needed in the region.
Minister Littleproud said, “The Southern New South Wales Hub will be a shopfront for farmers to access innovative technologies and practices that enable them to be more prepared and resilient to drought.”
FarmLink CEO Andrew Bulkeley says, “This is a very significant announcement by the Minister that is set to benefit the members of FarmLink and other farming systems groups in southern and central NSW. The most important aspect of the Hub is that its direction, activities and priorities will be driven by our farmers. This will translate to unprecedented levels of buy-in and adoption of the innovative technologies and practices that emerge from the Hub.”
The hub-and-spoke model will utilise resources, including staff and programs spread throughout southern NSW to capitalise on the members’ skills, assets and networks to generate drought resilience outcomes in areas such as water management, food security, farming systems, agribusiness, community building, regional development and environment.
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