Cotton industry responds to $50k grants program

COTTON farmers are in luck after the federal agriculture minister announced stage 3 of the Smart Farms Small Grants program.

Grants of up to $50,000 have been given to up to 113 projects to help improve the sustainability of Australia’s cotton farms.

Cotton Australia general manager Michael Murray said the program will help satisfy global demands for more sustainable product.

“It’s grown increasingly important for us to access international markets who want to make sure they’re sourcing cotton from a sustainable supply chain,” he said.

“There are some expenses involved to make sure they’ve got their property and infrastructure set up in the right way.”

This is in light of reduced revenue of cotton exports in 2020 with the smallest cotton demand in 40 years, according to Mr Murray.

“The price today is about 20% less than what it was pre-COVID,” he said.

“People are staying at home and not going out and buying new furniture and clothes.”

Western Downs mayor and long time cotton farmer Paul McVeigh said the Dalby community, which received 40 grants, will share in the impact of the grants.

“Everyone will see the benefits of this,” he said.

“One of the great things is the resilience of our farmers coming with the tough times with this drought.

“I’m sure the benefits of this $50,000 grant will be more widespread than just supporting the cotton industry.”


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