QRAA’s Sam Spina say he is looking forward to helping Queensland producers find ‘pay dirt’ at the upcoming National Biological Farming Conference.
To be held in the Cairns Convention Centre on October 28-30, the conference is an opportunity for connection, education and inspiration for ‘bio-logical farmers’ – a wide term for growers, graziers and dairy farmers focused on optimising soil health to support productivity, product quality and long-term sustainability.
This can be achieved through processes such as natural fertiliser production, upgrading irrigation, earthworks to control water flow and introducing species diversity to pastures.
Sam Spina, QRAA’s client liaison officer for Far North Queensland and the Gulf, said the activities could be expensive, but QRAA can help.
“Our sustainability loans were designed to help producers improve farm land – this goes hand in hand with biological farming,” Mr Spina said.
Sustainability loans, funded by the Queensland Government and administered by QRAA, provide primary producers with up to $1.3 million and interest rates as low as 3.11 per cent, to fund activities and projects that will help them achieve long-term profitability and sustainability.
Biological farming decreases reliance on chemicals for pest and disease management and reduces run-off – it’s for this reason that Sam is particularly thrilled to see the conference, previously held in Lismore, head to Far North Queensland.
“It’s been fantastic to watch so many local canegrowers and farmers implement management practices that have boosted the productivity of their operations while also reducing impact on the reef,” Mr Spina said.
“Having the National Biological Farming Conference come to town will expose even more producers to new ideas, so the region will continue to profit while also preserving our resources.”
With many biological farmers interested in minimising the overall environmental impact of their product, Mr Spina is also looking forward to informing producers of sustainability loans’ potential uses in implementing alternative energy sources like solar panels, and on-farm processing and packing infrastructure.
Sustainability loans feature no fees or charges, and repayment terms of up to 20 years.