MORE research, less red tape and greater promotion of agriculture is needed to help the farm sector double production by 2030.
That's according to industry leaders, who say the Victorian Government must take a stronger lead.
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Earlier this year Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh announced his goal for Victoria was to double its food and fibre output.
It came as the Department of Primary Industries shed almost a quarter of its staff in two years and closed several offices.
The government also delivered a young farmer stamp duty exemption scheme that was widely panned for being "watered down".
AusVeg marketing manager Simon Coburn said growers supported the idea of growth "but government needs to do more".
"There's no point producing more if we don't have new markets; that would just destroy prices," Mr Coburn said. "Cuts to DPI are concerning and the biggest hindrance is red tape limiting farmers from expanding.
A prominent agribusiness leader, who asked not to be named, said the government made "aspirational, rhetorical statements without real substance". A "meaningful strategy" was needed, he said.
NAB Agribusiness southern Australia head Neil Findlay said governments could help farmers lift production via on-farm research and development.
But a lack of graduates hamstrung the industry, he said.
And farmers, many of whom were very keen to grow their businesses, were also limited by land availability and prices and, in some cases, debt.
Victorian Farmers Federation president Peter Tuohey praised the government for "fighting for our water" in the Murray Darling Basin, but said it should do more to cut red tape.
And farmers would be able to expand and produce more if they got higher farmgate prices.
While doubling production was a good aim, many sectors struggled with costs, he said.
Mr Walsh said doubling production was possible with the government's commitment to research and development.
Allocating more of the DPI's budget to recurrent funding streams was a "powerful message" of commitment to the sector, he said.