Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund
The Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund (AIJF) is part of the Victorian Government's plan to support Victorian farmers, who currently contribute close to $12 billion to the Victorian economy.
This fund will provide $200 million to strengthen the performance and resilience of the agriculture sector under two funding streams – Infrastructure and Programs. Both will look at ways to improve farm productivity, maintain market access and grow exports and jobs through investing in projects and activities typically beyond the farm-gate.
The Infrastructure Stream will provide $175 million for capital works and improve local connectivity to markets. This will include some capacity to support the development of proposals. The Program Stream will invest $25 million in initiatives that will help equip farmers and their local communities with the know-how to capture opportunities and better manage business risk. It will focus on market access and building consumer confidence in Victorian produce.
The AIJF will support investments in the infrastructure needed to help our farmers and producers get their goods to market faster. This will strengthen the agriculture sector's international competitiveness, attract new investment and drive jobs growth.
Better connections from paddock to port
This fund seeks to address inefficiencies along the supply chain by working with industry to invest in infrastructure, build business capabilities to better access markets and build resilience within the sector.
AIJF will support practical projects and programs that predominantly benefit the agriculture sector. These will include transport, irrigation, and energy projects, as well as skills development programs and market access campaigns that will:
- move agricultural produce more efficiently to market
- improve water security
- improve connectivity with supply chains and access to markets
- give consumers greater confidence in Victorian produce as safe
- increase business level innovation
- enhance business capability to manage volatility and risk, and
- grow jobs in the agriculture sector and along the supply chain.
Major Capital Works is the primary infrastructure program and is for eligible projects that ready to proceed. This includes some capacity to support the development of proposals. Through the Developing Major Capital Works Proposals up to five percent of funding will support studies to investigate the technical and/or economic viability of Major Capital Works type proposals. This funding will be available up until 30 June 2018.
The Infrastructure Stream will also include a $25 million Local Roads to Market Program to upgrade local roads and bridges along key agricultural freight routes.
This stream will build resilience in the agriculture sector through programs to support market access development, enhance the traceability of Victorian produce, build business and risk management capabilities and support agribusiness networks to develop products and markets.