24 April 2012
Five new research projects will share in $2 million of funding to investigate ways farmers can participate in the Government’s $46 million Carbon Farming Initiative using biochar to reduce their carbon emissions.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, said the projects focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving soil management, and developing ways for farms to adapt to and manage climate change.
Minister Ludwig made the announcement while visiting one of the successful grant applicants, the South Australian No Till Farmers Association Inc, in Clare, South Australia.
“Australia’s clean energy future includes our farmers and land managers – that’s why the Government is rolling out funding to help the agriculture sector take up climate change action on the land,” Minister Ludwig said.
“These projects may help in the development of Carbon Farming Initiative methodologies which farmers can put into practice on their properties to reduce their emissions and earn extra income.”
Biochar is a stable, carbon-rich form of charcoal that can improve soil health and water holding capacity.
“These projects will establish biochar demonstration sites in NSW, Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia so researchers are able to determine the effectiveness of biochar as an emission fighting agent,” Minister Ludwig said.
“We want as many farmers as possible to capitalise on the opportunities the CFI presents, and these research projects will help investigate new ways biochar can help farmers get involved.”
A total of 29 applications were received, from a broad range of organisations and institutions from across Australia.
The projects were funded under the Biochar Capacity Building Program, a part of the Government’s Carbon Farming Initiative.
The Biochar Capacity Building Program complements and builds on similar work conducted under the Climate Change Research Program.