AN INDUSTRY-wide plan for agriculture has been unveiled today in Canberra.
And part of it have been given the thumbs up by Greens leader Christine Milne.
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The plan, a first of its kind, drew on feedback from 4000 people involved in farming.
The National Farmers Federation's plan set out detailed strategies to assist Australia's farm sector to be a world-leader in providing high quality food and fibre into the future.
Ms Milne used the social media site twitter to praise the NFF's stance on climate issues.
"Prepare for extreme climate events and improve biosecurity... Good message from NFF," Ms Milne tweeted.
Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig also addressed the launch and said he looked forward to working with the NFF on its "Blueprint".
The "Blueprint" is the first plan for the future of the sector, developed by the sector itself, with input from 4000 people in agricultural industries.
It identifies seven key areas which underpin the future success of agriculture in Australia.
NFF President Jock Laurie said the Blueprint was an "ambitious plan that identifies seven critical areas in which action must happen now to ensure we are well placed in the future: Innovation, Research, Development and Extension; Competitiveness; Trade and Market Access; People; Agriculture in Society; Natural Resources and Transformational Issues".
"The Blueprint participants have called for such action as an increase in investment in agricultural RD&E to help improve productivity growth and address issues like the changing climate.
"This is long overdue, with investment in rural R&D stagnating since the mid-1970s.
"They also wish to see upgrades in critical infrastructure and a reduction in red tape to help the sector remain competitive and the completion of key free trade (FTA) agreements, like the Korean FTA, to secure our market access.
"The inclusion of agriculture in the national school curriculum is considered a priority by the participants, to help build greater understanding of agriculture and encourage more students to seek careers in the sector. And the need to build strong, positive relationships with the wider community is seen as critical, underpinning much of our future success."
The trend of fewer students enrolling in tertiary agriculture could worsen, with higher salaries failing to attract workers to farms.
Careers in agriculture needed to be promoted as rewarding and skilled, so more children from non-farming backgrounds would want a job in farming, Mr Laurie said.
"A lot of the workforce in the end won't be coming out of our traditional agriculturally bred people,'' he said.
"It will be coming out of people who see an opportunity.''
The NFF hopes educating the nation's young about farming will also help bridge the gap between city and country, especially on prickly issues such as live animal exports and environmental sustainability."Ensuring environmental sustainability is improved, promoted and rewarded right across the sector has emerged as a key opportunity, along with improving preparedness for extreme climatic events, like the bushfires and floods we have seen across five Australian states in the past month.
"And making sure the agricultural sector is well placed to respond to future uncertainties is a key component of the Blueprint, ensuring the sector remains diverse, resilient and adaptive to change."
- The Blueprint for Australian Agriculture is available to download at www.nff.org.au/blueprint