The NSW Environmental Trust has announced grants totalling almost $100,000 to educate farmers about sustainable practices and improve land management in the Tweed.
A two-year, $59,000 environmental education grant will see Professor Caroline Sullivan of Southern Cross University and other industry experts, working directly with Tweed farmers to help them identify and overcome some of the barriers to adopting better management practices.
According to Tweed Shire Council, the recipients of the grant, many farmers find changing their practices difficult due to social, cultural and economic barriers.
Eli Szandala, the council’s sustainable agriculture program leader said, ‘Improvements in soil health, water quality and biodiversity can be achieved on-farm through improved land management practices, which in turn will provide significant productivity improvements and reduced costs of production over time.
‘By giving our farmers the latest and best available knowledge about soils, waterway health, the benefits of local flora and fauna and pest and disease management they will be well placed to develop sustainable farming systems into the future,’ she said.
‘The health of the environment is critical to the long-term viability of our farms.’
Meanwhile, Tweed Landcare Inc has been awarded a NSW Environmental Trust grant of $44,400 under for their Bush Skills program, aimed at improving and protecting some of the Tweeds most ecologically important bushland.
Announcing the grant, Lismore MP Thomas George said, ‘Tweed Shire is recognised as a biodiversity hotspot and contains a great variety of flora and fauna including rare and threatened species.
‘A training program and resource library will be developed to educate landowners around effective ecosystem management.
‘I hope that this Environmental Trust grant program will go a long way towards establishing greater environmental awareness and better outcomes for the community and environment of NSW,’ Mr George said.