Organic farmers who have a large quantity of fruit and vegetables are being rewarded with more cash as part of the government’s Farm Payment scheme.
The new cash payout is to be paid to organic farmers by the end of next year, and will allow them to expand their operation to more than 1,000 hectares.
Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce announced the changes in Parliament today, and said farmers who did not receive a cash payout would be offered a more generous option.
Farmers who have received the cash offer will be able to increase their operation by 25 per cent, to an average of 1,200 hectares per year.
“This will ensure that organic farming is in good hands and that those who can expand their operations get the cash they need to continue growing their business,” Mr Joyce said.
“We are doing this for those who need it, for those farmers who need the cash and those who don’t.”
Farmers who did receive a payment will be eligible to receive a bonus of up to $25,000 for the first year of operation, or $500 for the second year.
Mr Joyce will also introduce a new cash-based incentive to encourage farmers to continue operations after a five-year freeze.
Farmers will be required to repay the $25k if they are to continue operation after the five-years freeze.
Mr Stewart said farmers were concerned about the government not rewarding those who had not been rewarded for their work.
“We’ve been told to be happy with our business, but we’re not happy,” Mr Stewart told AAP.
“It’s been a tough year.
We’ve been hit hard by the drought, and the floods, and we’ve been getting hit harder by climate change, and all these things.”