How Private Forest Tasmania is supporting our farmers grow the future
15 Oct 2020
Private Forests Tasmania is leading a project that will provide funding to Tasmanian farmers for the planting of trees on Tasmania farms. Co-funded by Private Forests Tasmania, the federal government (through the Smart Farming Grant) and primary producers, the project seeks to develop a landscape-scale best practice integration of shelterbelts and woodlots into the Tasmanian agricultural landscape.
Private Forests Tasmania is calling for expressions of interest from Tasmanian primary producers to join the project.
Successful applicants will receive grants from a total pool of $330,000 for activities that establish significant farm scale best practice integration of shelterbelts and woodlots into the agricultural landscape; and demonstrate the multiple benefits of trees on farms.
Penny Wells, CEO of Private Forests Tasmania said that the benefits of planting trees in the right place on farms are extensive.
“Trees can deliver increased primary production productivity while simultaneously growing high value timber products, delivering biofuel, improving water quality and efficiency, and improving the carbon balance. Trees also protect the land for future generations,” she said.
“The purpose of this project is to illustrate these benefits, which have been well documented around the world, in the Tasmanian context.
“Existing Tasmanian case studies have found thatfarm systems that include trees are more productive and profitable than agriculture only enterprises with internal rates of return typically around 8%.”
Additional support for farmers through COVID-19
To support farmers, Private Forests Tasmania have also launched an online community and a free Private Forests Helpline: 1300 661 009.
“Our role is to work with primary producers and the broader industry to facilitate the expansion of the private forest estate in Tasmania. Traditionally this was done by going out to farms and sitting down one-on-one,” says Penny.
“But we’ve launched the online community because we recognise that peer to peer advice and sharing of information is important for farmers and in our current situation there has never been a better time to come together online.”
The Growing the Future Online Community is a private Facebook Group moderated by Private Forest Tasmania advisors.
Contact the free Private Forests Helpline for more information: 1300 661 009.