Up to $200M is available from AIJF to to boost productivity, increase exports and reduce costs so farmers, businesses and industries can stay competitive.
Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund (AIJF)
The Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund (AIJF) is the Victorian Government’s commitment to farmers and agribusinesses to strengthen the performance and resilience of the agriculture sector. It is a key component of the government’s strategic direction to drive economic growth, create jobs and boost exports.
The Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund (AIJF) 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 includes two elements:
- Major Capital Works – $150 million for enabling infrastructure along the agriculture supply chain. Grant applications can be made at any time for this program.
- The Local Roads to Market Program – $25 million to support the development of first/last kilometre local roads and bridges along key agriculture freight routes. This Program was launched in August 2016.
The Infrastructure Stream can also support the development of proposals that are not ready to implement and can include:
- studies to investigate the technical and/or economic viability of a Major Capital Works proposal, and
- design works of first/last kilometre local roads and assessing bridges that local councils have identified following engagement with local agriculture producers, processors and freight handlers.
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.
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. These initiatives will be announced over coming months.
The Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund (AIJF) will support practical projects and programs that predominantly benefit the agriculture sector. These will include transport, irrigation, ICT 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
Applicants include farm businesses, industry and agribusiness organisations, asset owners such as water authorities and local government.
The Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund (AIJF) will be available up until 30 June 2019.
Local Roads to Market projects across the state’s south-west are upgrading intersections, strengthening pavements and widening and re-aligning the roads our dairy industry relies on.
The Andrews Labor Government is contributing $480,000 toward the cost of upgrading 18 intersections in the Glenelg Shire, paving the way for more efficient dairy pickups.
The local dairy industry says improving width, sight distance and pavement strength for these intersections will significantly improve transport routes and access to market, reducing costs.
In Moyne Shire, the Labor Government is providing $841,333 to improve intersections along Woolsthorpe-Hexham Road, a strategic link for freight vehicles serving specialised dairy.
The funding will help realign the intersection of Woolsthorpe-Hexham Road and Hexham-Ballangeich Road, reconstruct the intersection with Bostocks road, and widen and improve road pavements.
The Labor Government is also providing $195,000 to identify and prioritise future road and bridge infrastructure upgrades that will improve the freight network and directly benefit dairy producers and processors in the region.
The Barwon South West Dairy Supply Chain Study will be conducted by Corangamite Shire Council with partners including Moyne Shire Council, Colac Otway Shire Council, Southern Grampians Shire Council, Warrnambool City Council and the Great South Coast Group.
The Local Roads to Market Program, part of the Government’s Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund (AIJF), is supporting rural, regional and outer-suburban councils to improve connections to the farm gate.
Round one is funding 29 projects, worth $22.2 million, in 26 local government authorities across regional and rural Victoria. More information about AIJF is available at agriculture.vic.gov.au/infrastructure.