Thursday, December 6, 2018

Aid for dairy transition on TPP deal coming

The federal government said it will form working groups to provide advice on the help it should offer the dairy industry as the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement comes into effect.

The previous Conservative government said it was prepared to offer billions of dollars to ensure that quota prices and dairy-farming profits would not decline during a transition period.

Its offer was also going to apply to supply-managed poultry farmers.

That proposal was heavily criticized by some as far too generous. The current Liberal government has been much more modest in its transition proposals, for example for the European free trade agreement.

One of the benefits offered then was $250 million for a Dairy Farm Investment Program.

The government now said it will open requests for funding on January 7 for the second and final stage of that program which has $98 million to offer.

The application deadline is Feb. 8.

“The program will now have a two-stage application process involving a pre-selection step, which, if an applicant is selected, will be followed by the submission of a full application.,” the government announcement said.

“This new process will give all applicants an equal opportunity of being selected for funding.”
In the first round, more than 11,000 farms applied and about 75 per cent were successful. The average they got was $68,000 per project.

This time the government said “projects will be eligible for a contribution of up to $100,000. Between 1,000  and 1,500 projects are expected to be funded in Phase II. A number of changes to Phase II of the Dairy Farm Investment Program were developed following consultations with industry and feedback from farmers.”