NAB and Food Agility Co-operative Research Centre (CRC) have partnered to provide practical guidance to farmers on how they can use the latest climate and sustainability research to make their businesses more resilient.
The project is supported by leading researchers from RMIT and Federation University Australia. It aims to help farmers make science-based and commercially considered decisions about where to invest their time, effort and money.
The announcement comes as the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences’ (ABARES) latest report reveals that farmers have made remarkable progress in adapting to hotter and drier weather conditions but further adaptations are needed to prepare the sector for the future.
NAB Executive for Regional and Agribusiness, Julie Rynski, said there was a vast amount of scientific research on sustainability and adaptation, but it was difficult to translate into practical guidance.
“Many of our agribusiness customers are telling us they experience ‘analysis paralysis’. When it comes to adapting their business practices, they feel overwhelmed with the research and don’t know where to start,” Ms Rynski said.
“As Australia’s largest agribusiness bank, we play an important role in supporting customers on ways they can improve the long-term sustainability and viability of their business.
“Many of our agri customers recognise the importance of transitioning to a low carbon economy. We want them to have practical guidance on how to use less water and chemicals, or how to reduce emissions as an example. Ultimately, it’s about building resilience for the long-term.”
Food Agility CEO, Richard Norton, said it was incumbent on the scientific community to collate and translate academic literature in a way that drives real action towards more sustainable farming practices.
“It’s time to get all of that research out of published papers and into the hands of our farmers,” said Mr Norton.
“Farmers win because they can use science to prove their sustainability credentials. NAB wins because it helps its customers to identify opportunities and manage potential risks. Consumers win because they have access to safe, healthy food and the environment wins because we reduce the impact of food production.”
The project focuses specifically on livestock, dairy and grain industries. It will enable NAB bankers to support customers with practical applications and guidance on navigating environmental, social, market and regulatory risks and opportunities now and into the future.