VICTORIAN farmers say governments are missing an opportunity to help farmers prepare for future droughts.
A meeting of state and federal ministers last week agreed on a new drought policy framework.
But it failed to lock in enough measures to help farmers prepare, says the Victorian Farmers Federation.
VFF president Peter Tuohey said the agreement lacked clarity and was "disappointing considering the amount of work we and the National Farmers' Federation have put into developing a drought policy package focused on drought preparedness".
The VFF wanted to help farmers be better prepared so they did not need income support during droughts.
They wanted accelerated depreciation on infrastructure investments such as silos or feed pads.
"Unfortunately this has been ignored," he said. "While the commitment to income and social support is welcomed, it is not anything different to what is currently available and does not encourage preparedness."
Victorian Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh said the policy was "a work in progress".
The NFF has said the agreement was a step in the right direction, but firmer action was needed.
A spokeswoman for Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig said "you can't roll out a new national drought package without national cooperation and coordination, and agreement being reached at the Standing Council on Primary Industries meeting was central to this".
"It was agreed the new package of programs, which focus on risk management and preparedness, be scheduled for introduction in July 2014.
"(It) will include a farm household support payment, promotion of farm management deposits and taxation measures, a national approach to farm business training, a coordinated, collaborative approach to the provision of social support services, and tools and technologies to inform farmer decision-making.
Implementation would depend on state budgeting, she said.