The National Farmers’ Federation has welcomed the NSW Government’s $2 million to explore options for developing financial risk management tools that help farmers manage drought.
“Drought continues to severely impact farmers and rural and regional communities across the east coast,” NFF President Fiona Simson said.
“With the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting no rain in sight, and drought predicted to become more frequent and prolonged in future, we need long term solutions now.
“Farmers and agriculture-dependent communities need support to get through what could be another disastrous year in some parts of NSW and other parts of Australia.”
The NFF has long called for a comprehensive National Drought Policy that provides farmers and rural and regional communities with certainty as to the measures available to them to manage drought.
“The Policy needs to prioritise measures that build drought resilience, ensures collaboration between all levels of government and partnership with industry.
“This announcement represents an important contribution to expanding the range of drought management tools. This investment by the NSW Government is a major contribution to developing innovative ways to manage drought and the radical swings in income that accompany it.
“It’s a clear demonstration of the priority the NSW Government puts on building drought preparedness and resilience and their strong support for rural and regional communities,” Ms Simson said.
Financial risk management products, from insurance to weather derivatives and forward contracting, are important tools in the range of measures farmers employ to manage risk.
There is considerable work needed, however, to develop these tools. The NFF looks forward to working with our members, including NSW Farmers and Grain Growers, in taking this important work forward.
Ms Simson said farmers in many of our overseas competitor markets enjoy access to mature and deep financial risk management markets.
“This investment by the NSW Government will enable the work needed to develop these tools in Australia.
“The NFF looks forward to working with the NSW Government, and all levels of Government in Australia to develop a National Drought Policy that includes support for financial risk management tools,” she said.
This article was first published in The Fence magazine.