Queensland Minister for the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch
Sweet Funding Boost For Sugarcane Growers And The Great Barrier Reef
Victor P Taffa
Benefits are set to flow for cane growers and the Great Barrier Reef with over $6 Million in funding from the Palaszczuk Government to support best management farming practices.
Minister for the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said the investment in Smartcane BMP would ensure the ongoing delivery of the program through local facilitators, easing hip-pocket pressures for growers while having a positive impact on the Reef.
“Smartcane BMP provides a practical and robust means for cane growers to demonstrate their stewardship of the environment while strengthening their productivity and profits.” Minister Enoch said.
“To date, the Palaszczuk Government has provided a total of $8.25 Million to CANEGROWERS to develop, promote and implement the voluntary, industry-led program.”
“What it does is recognise growers’ efforts towards minimising nutrient, pesticide and sediment run-off from their properties into Great Barrier Reef waters.”
“Through programs like Smartcane BMP, we can achieve positive and powerful outcomes for our environment, for industry, and for Queensland farming communities.” Minister Enoch said.
CANEGROWERS CEO Dan Galligan welcomed the announcement of further funding for Smartcane BMP.
“With 70 % of Queensland’s sugarcane growing area already engaged in the program, and an increasing number of growers seeking accreditation, particularly in the Wet Tropics region, this commitment will ensure the program’s momentum will continue.” Mr. Galligan said.
“Smartcane BMP is giving our members the opportunity to set the record straight about what they’ve already achieved on their farms, as well as identify and implement further practice changes to meet business and environmental goals.”
“As more growers participate, the program lays down an increasingly solid foundation for the future of the sugarcane industry, and this is being recognised across the international supply chain.”
“By meeting the Bonsucro international standard for sugar sustainability, and receiving conditional approval as meeting the sustainable agriculture standards of some of our biggest international customers, Smartcane BMP is providing opportunities for greater market access around the world.” Mr. Galligan said.
Minister Enoch said the funding was provided to specifically work with and encourage growers to complete the program to achieve accreditation in Smartcane BMP, with an increased focus on extension and education work with growers.
“Smartcane BMP accreditation is based on the latest scientific evidence and best practice information for the industry.” Minister Enoch said.
“I commend the growers who have already achieved accreditation, and the growers striving hard to reach this goal. Their efforts to improve their businesses and reduce run-off to the Great Barrier Reef is not just a drop in the ocean collectively it makes a real difference.”