Future Proofing Agriculture on Kangaroo Island Project
Future Proofing Agriculture on Kangaroo Island is a one year project made up of four components seeking to address the Australian Government’s Outcome 6: By 2023, there is an increase in the capacity of agricultural systems to adapt to significant changes in climate and market demands for information on provenance and ethical, sustainable production. The KI NRM Board is partnering with AgKI and PIRSA to deliver the project, though agriculture industry groups on the island will be invited to participate in the project’s working groups.
The project will:
• TOOLS & TECHNOLOGIES REVIEW:
Conduct a desktop review to identify new and innovative tools and technologies to improve on-farm decision making and farming practice, e.g. Pastures from Space. The proponents of the most promising tools and technologies will then be invited to the island to demonstrate and showcase them to interested farmers.
• CLIMATE ACTION PLAN:
Develop a Climate Action Plan for farmers and other stakeholders that identifies key priorities and strategies for adapting to the climatic changes that are anticipated for KI, including warming and drying, seasonal shifts, and more intense weather events. Short-term adaptations may require small incremental changes to farming practices, while medium to longer term adaptations may be more resource intensive or may even require a complete transformation in approach. The action plan will be practical and focused on tangible outputs.
The first workshop was held on Thursday 28 February at the Parndana Bowling Club, which included speaker:
Prof. Richard Eckard presented on the latest thinking on agricultural production under a changing climate. Richard Eckard is Professor and Director of the Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre, a joint research initiative between the University of Melbourne and the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries. A copy of his presentation can be found here
If you are a farmer, work in or have an interest in agriculture you can help us investigate the potential impact of a changing climate on agriculture on KI by completing a short survey here
• BROWN CARBON CREDITS:
Facilitate the uptake of opportunities under the Australian Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund using their methodologies for sequestering soil carbon in grazing systems. The benefits of sequestering more carbon are multiple and include an additional source of on-farm income through the generation of carbon credits, increased soil carbon and hence improved soil condition leading to increased production and profitability. Being carbon neutral on-farm will help to maintain and improve market access through demonstrating sustainable and responsible production, as well as mitigating climate change.
The first workshop was held at the Parndana Bowling Club on Monday 4 February, which included speakers:
Dr Amanda Schapel (PIRSA) giving a presentation on the importance of soil carbon in production systems and what drives it. Presentation available here
Dr Tim Wiley (Tierra Australia Pty Ltd) will explain how the Carbon Farming Initiative, Emissions Reduction Fund and associated methodologies for brown carbon work. He will outline what is needed to get a project registered, roles and responsibilities, earnings and payments, timelines, etc. Presentation available here
Dr Wiley then conducted visits to properties over a number of days that were interested in participating in a project.
Results of a survey undertaken before and after the workshop, to gauge the understanding of the importance of soil carbon in primary production systems, are available to review here
• STEWARDSHIP & ACCREDITATION SCHEMES FOR KI:
Investigate existing options for a suitable farm stewardship and accreditation scheme for KI to give consumers the reassurance they are increasingly seeking that food is produced in a sustainable and ethical way, thereby maintaining KI’s market access, substantiating the KI brand proposition, and potentially even fetching a premium price for product. Such a farm stewardship schemes should also seek to facilitate improved access to finance and should be practically useful to farm managers, rather than an added burden.
The first workshop was held at the NRM Boardroom on Dauncey Street, Tuesday 2nd April.
The workshop included a presentation from Prof. Wendy Umberger, Executive Director, Centre for Global Food & Resources, University of Adelaide and can be viewed here:
Changing consumer preferences: what this means for KI producers and the brand
Natural Resources Kangaroo Island
Agriculture Kangaroo Island (AgKI) & Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA)