Advocacy, policy & programs
Risk resilience and preparedness
Productivity and sustainability
Skills and Capability Development
Research and development
Planning, Native Title and Mining
Risk resilience and preparedness
Primary producers, rural communities and the environment are challenged by a range of adverse events, mostly out of their direct ability to control. However it is within most people’s and community’s control to minimise the adverse impacts.
The main factors giving rise to adverse impacts are:
- Climatic conditions leading to drought and frost
- Emergencies such as fires, floods, storms, earthquakes, and heat waves
- Biosecurity incursions and associated market access risk
- Food safety incidents
All of these events have a similar impact on primary producers, rural communities and the environment. However, at present these are managed by different structures, often in different jurisdictions and with very different support provisions for individuals, communities, the environment and infrastructure.
As the peak industry body, PPSA works with its members and key stakeholders to identify the main areas where primary producers and regional communities can minimise the impacts of adverse events. It also serves as the go-to point for all producers to better understand additional income streams, through its commodity council membership.
PPSA will develop an overarching framework to identify the main areas where primary producers and regional communities can minimise the impacts of adverse events through preparation of this risk, resilience and preparedness strategy. This framework will not resolve the fragmentation of government support measures, but rather would allow a more targeted and integrated approach by service providers, particularly in regard to risk mitigation, preparedness and recovery.
The Future Drought Fund Advisory Group (FDFAG) has been established to provide strategic industry, government and community intelligence and feedback and to support the programs to align with strategic objectives and priorities of government, industry and regions in SA.
Through FDFAG, PPSA is directly involved in the assessment of regional priorities and co-design of activities with partners for the South Australian Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub (SA Drought Hub), particularly the foundational year of the Farm Business Resilience Program and the Regional Drought Resilience Program run by PIRSA.
Many of SA’s primary industries are fully exposed to global conditions of supply and demand, be they inputs to production imported into the state or markets for products exported.
Supply chain challenges, exacerbated by COVID-19, have cemented the reliance on international trade by SA’s primary industries. SA’s primary producers rely on State and Commonwealth trade policies to continue sustainably producing food, beverages, and fibre.
Additionally, issues such as sustainability, climate policies, traceability, quality assurance, biosecurity requirements of importing countries and related non-tariff market access barriers all pose hurdles for producers to navigate in the international market.
Through collaboration with the State and Commonwealth governments, as well as national representative bodies, PPSA will continue to ensure SA producers are at the forefront of policy settings, enabling them to sustainably grow world-class produce and access world-class markets.
Regional communities are the economic and social fabric of SA. Without vibrant regional communities, the primary industry sector cannot sustain producing 50 per cent of the state’s exports and employing one in five South Australians.
The regional communities that support the primary industries sector need adequate services. Services such as health care, schools, mental health care, amenities and connectivity – both physical and digital – are imperative to attracting the best and most skilled workforce to our regions.
PPSA will partner with PIRSA in its role to support SA’s regions to grow, diversify and prosper by fostering and supporting regional projects that enable new economic opportunities and build and strengthen regional communities.
Working closely with the State Government, PPSA will continue to identify key investments that will have cross-commodity benefit, drawing on the commodity group members’ and the PPSA Transport and Supply Chain (TASC) Committee.
PPSA will also contribute to national-level campaigns and advocacy for regional investment from the Federal Government. The National Farmers’ Federation’s regionalisation agenda, which includes two locations in SA, is a key pillar of this work.
Strong and consistent input to all three tiers of government on projects and priorities is more likely to result in investment in the right areas, delivering economic benefits for government and the community.
Biosecurity is an acutely high priority to the primary industries sector given some of the threats on Australia’s doorstep. All industry strategic plans identify biosecurity as being an essential priority, with industry contributing significant resources to address industry specific biosecurity priorities. However, there are several cross-sectoral biosecurity priorities that PPSA’s biosecurity policy will address.
PPSA will continue to lead the sector’s engagement in preparation and response activities to the current threats, to advance a key sub-program administered by PIRSA.
Biosecurity SA, the Biosecurity division of PIRSA, manages the potential risks to SA from pests and diseases, food borne pathogens and misuse of agricultural and veterinary (agvet) chemicals relating to primary industries. It leads PIRSA’s emergency responses, including biosecurity incursions and bushfire responses.
Currently Biosecurity SA interacts with each industry sector independently in developing priorities and programs, preparation and response. However, PPSA will continue to lead the sector’s engagement with PIRSA in preparation and response activities to the current threats, working with the Commonwealth on coordinated state and federal biosecurity programs.
Together with the livestock industry, PPSA is working with Biosecurity SA on emergency animal disease preparedness and surveillance projects, including for emerging high-level threats of Lumpy Skin Disease, African Swine Fever, and Avian Influenza. Recent attention has also turned to the significant risks arising from the detection of Foot and Mouth Disease in Indonesia and will be a strong focus of PPSA’s engagement over the next 12 months.
The development of a new Biosecurity Act for South Australia represents a significant opportunity to modernise the current policy framework and address emerging concerns of the production sector. PPSA will continue to lead the collation of priorities from across industry and injecting these into the Act’s development. The interest and concern cover the full spectrum of the biosecurity continuum from preventing incursions to managing introduced plants and animals, to reduce the ongoing impact of the primary production sector.
productivity and sustainability
Productivity and sustainability are key elements of industry strategic plans. All sectors are members of the PPSA NRM Committee, a sub-committee of the PPSA Council.
Priorities such as climate change, environmental markets, and resource management are standing items on the agenda for this committee. The NRM Committee coordinated the industry input to the development of the State Landscape Strategy. Continued engagement in the resulting Action Plan and implementation will further this impact.
The NRM Committee remains engaged with PIRSA regarding the government’s climate change and carbon farming priorities, providing feedback and input into programs and projects. Water security for irrigated agricultural production is a cross-commodity policy priority for PPSA and its members. PPSA will continue to advance the interests of regional communities in national and regional water allocation plans, including through the implementation of the Murray Darling Basin Plan. Strong sector engagement in water policy is critical to achieving the right balance in social, economic and environmental outcomes for the benefit of all South Australians.
PPSA is evaluating the Australian Farm Institute’s (AFI) Australian Agriculture Sustainability Framework (AASF) and its application to PPSA members and keeping PIRSA updated on the state-wide application.
Skills and capability development
Skills and workforce availability have been identified as high priorities by all commodity groups. All groups recognise the need to strongly engage in activities that attract the next generation of the agricultural workforce, as well as identifying solutions to the immediate need for seasonal workers. Skills and capabilities are regularly identified as a major limitation in driving a productive and sustainable primary industries sector.
There are a number of elements to these discussions including awareness of primary production and food at the primary and secondary school level; the appropriateness of vocational education training (VET) and university offerings, to the delivery of leadership programs to primary producers.
PPSA will continue to contribute industry needs and priorities into the education and skills system by working closely with the South Australian Skills Commission, its Agribusiness, Food and Wine/Beverages Industry Skills Council, the Department for Education, Department for Industry, Innovation and Science and PIRSA,
PPSA is currently implementing a significant project, Educating Kids about Agriculture, targeted at regional upper primary school level students. A key objective is to prepare curriculum material on a wide range of primary industry topics and to assist teachers in delivering this material. There is an equally important opportunity to work with educators in developing a similar approach in secondary schools.
Workplace health and safety (WHS) is a priority for PPSA, and a WHS Committee has been set up to develop policies that promote enhanced health and safety awareness and practices in the primary industries sector. The Committee will guide PPSA in leading the delivery of the National Farm Safety Education Fund in SA, focussing on farm safety for children. This project is developing sector-specific resources to educate kids about safety who live on or visit a farm.
PPSA will develop a leadership program to increase capacity of PPSA members to represent industry at state and national level, as well as contributing positively and strongly to local issues affecting primary industries.
Improving Indigenous engagement is another focus of PPSA, with the aim to foster positive external stakeholder relationships. Additionally, PPSA will focus on the mentoring and development of future industry leaders to improve Indigenous engagement.
Research and Development
Agricultural research programs undertaken at the Waite Research Precinct (WRP), Roseworthy Campus and similar facilities around the state are fundamental in driving the productivity, profitability and sustainability of South Australian agriculture.
PPSA has a key role in shaping the future of the delivery of applied science that grows SA’s primary industries. The South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) undertakes applied research and development for the advancement of the grain, wine, horticulture, fisheries and aquaculture, livestock (including wool), poultry, pork and food sectors.
The refresh of SARDI’s strategic plan for 2023–28 provides the chance to focus SARDI and its research on industry priorities and emerging new opportunities, such as the plant-based protein industry. The State Government’s plan for a new Centre for Excellence to create a long-term forestry research and development capability at Mount Gambier, incorporating the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation and other forestry funding streams, presents primary industries with new opportunities to progress from the delivery of applied science.
The WRP and Roseworthy Campus represent the largest collection of agricultural scientists and research infrastructure in Australia. There is a widely held perception and concern that the collaborative and collegiate culture that existed across most research providers at the WRP has diminished substantially over the past two decades, to the detriment of the development of new technologies to underpin primary production.
Most agricultural sectors have a strong commitment maintaining viable and productive research capability and infrastructure, including significant funding contribution.
PPSA sees great value in a closer working relationship with SARDI, and other research providers, through a better understanding of SARDI’s R&D priorities and programs, and the opportunity for each industry to inform SARDI of their key priorities.
Planning, Native Title and mining
Access to agricultural land underpins the productivity of primary industries. SA’s scarce arable landscapes are also sought after by both mining and extraction interests and property developers looking to expand the urban footprint.
PPSA will pursue planning law reforms, key food area assessments and work on behalf of the agriculture sector to ensure that appropriate urban growth policy settings are implemented.
Primary producers often feel that they are at considerable disadvantage when it comes to resolution of land use conflicts with competing interests. The successful establishment of the Landholder Information Service (LIS) aims to assist landowners in negotiations with mining (exploration and extraction) by better understanding the legal framework of land access. PPSA will remain highly engaged in the LIS Reference Group to ensure landholders are better informed.
Through development of a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and capacity building activities outlined in the Skills and Capability Development theme, PPSA will engage with Indigenous groups to facilitate true two-way learning and engagement between primary industries and Aboriginal people.
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PO Box 259, Kent Town DC, SA 5071
Telephone: 08 8297 0899