那么，我们首先来看看全球市场中的马铃薯供应链，然后再来看看澳大利亚联邦政府通过偏远地区投资公司（Regional Investment Corporation, RIC）提供的一些经济和金融稳定措施。
Australian agriculture, not just small potatoes!
So, let’s look at the more technical supply chain side of potatoes in the world market first and then at some of the economic, financial stabilisation measures offered by the Australian Federal Government through the Regional Investment Corporation (RIC).
More than just chat’s, Australia sprouts new market for seed potatoes!
Seed potatoes are baby potatoes that get planted by farmers to produce the big potatoes sold in supermarkets. Seed potato producers in Victoria and South Australia have now market access to Indonesia.
The protocol was signed at a bilateral forum in Melbourne, Australia.
Only Western Australian seed potatoes previously had access, and Victoria and South Australia are major seed potato producers that have previously been excluded from the Indonesian market.
More than 300 seed potato farmers across South Australia and Victoria will now be celebrating after the breakthrough in securing new market access to Indonesia.
Federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud, said delivering this market access would provide opportunities for seed potato farmers to now compete in premium markets with the best produce the world has to offer.
Agricultural trade is a priority for the Coalition Government and it is delivering, not just sitting around like couch potatoes on this issue.
The export protocol has been on the boil for a while and the Coalition Government finally got it over the line, this will take an industry with a current production value of $520.3 million, to new heights the Federal and State Governments hopes.
The signing paves the way for trade in seed potatoes from Victoria and South Australia to commence as soon as possible, whenever farmers are ready.
The industry believes that this is a fantastic result for farmers in these two states as major seed potato producers build on current seed potato access for Western Australia.
Australia and Indonesia have a strong bilateral partnership, with two-way trade worth $4.28 billion in 2016-17 in agriculture alone.
Australia is a trading nation and continues to support farmers as they sell premium produce for premium prices to overseas markets.
The Coalition Government has secured free-trade agreements with three significant agriculture export markets, namely Japan, Korea and China and potential new markets in South America, like Peru, part of a new Free Trade Agreement recently concluded.
Through the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, Australia is investing $30.8 million to break down technical barriers to trade and appointed five new agricultural counsellors in key small markets.
In the agriculture portfolio since January 2016, Australia has had 64 key market access gains or restorations, along with 57 key market access improvements or actions to maintain market access.
Will the Regional Investment Corporation be able to rescue farmers?
Eligible farm businesses in the Northern Territory will benefit from direct access to loans through the Regional Investment Corporation (RIC), under new legislation passed earlier this month in Canberra.
Federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud, said the RIC would fuel investment and growth for example in the Northern Territory, and right across rural and regional Australia.
The Coalition Government committed to establishing the RIC because the Coalition, particularly the National Party believe in regional communities and believe in bringing services closer. The RIC will help spur investment and growth in regional Australia.
Farmers will be able to directly access loans administered through the RIC under the $2 billion farm business concessional loans program, this is a huge win for those on the agricultural business frontline. It is interesting to note that before the RIC not one concessional loan has been delivered to farm businesses in the Northern Territory over the past two years.
The RIC will support eligible farm businesses by helping them build and maintain diversity in the markets they supply, to take advantage of new and emerging opportunities and manage through difficult periods like droughts.
The streamlined administration of farm business loan arrangements through the RIC will be delivered consistently across Australia to help producers. RIC will also administer the National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility to ensure water infrastructure projects on the high priority list can be completed as quickly as possible. These are critical initiatives which will encourage growth, investment and resilience in Australia’s rural communities.
The RIC will launch in July, but until 30 June, farm businesses can still access concessional loans under the existing loans schemes through the Northern Territory and state delivery agencies.
Agriculture is a diverse business, from sheltered cropping in cities to broad acre farming, but one thing is in common shortages and oversupply keep prices and returns going up and down, at times so much so to put producers out of business.
The RIC is aimed by the Federal Government to alleviate that wasteful situation, do you agree?
D. Do not care?
Please leave a comment to enhance the discussion on the RIC and agriculture business in Australia!