Drought Ready Tasmania Forum - Resilience

16 November 2023

As part of the National Future Drought Fund (FDF) program, this month saw the Drought Ready Tasmania Forum held in Campbell Town. The event was fully booked with over sixty attendees and a full schedule of seventeen speakers.

TFGA Biosecurity officer Jac, noted that “The event highlighted the role of the FDF grants in supporting farmers and promoting resilience in the face of drought. The presentations on the Agricultural weather station network by Ag Logic and Farming Forecaster by NRM South showed exciting practical applications of the important research being done in the industry. By bridging the gap between scientific discoveries and on the ground implementation this kind of initiative promises a more sustainable and drought resilient future for Tasmania’s farming community."

Environment, water and sustainability policy officer Jasmine, observed that “The drought forum was a fantastic opportunity to see a collaborative future based approach to tackling such an important issue. The technology and tools sections were particularly informative, demonstrating what is available to farmers such as the ‘Farming Forecaster’ program. These tools have been successful so far in delivering practical results for farmers and assisting them in making future decisions during difficult times. The importance of building social resilience was another key takeaway, with strategies for looking after each other and working as a community when tough times hit. Overall, it was a great day to meet new people and share our thinking in this space."

Livestock policy officer Jono said “What fascinated me about the government and policy aspects was the collective effort of numerous individuals working in unison toward a common objective: bolstering farmers' resilience to drought. Furthermore, the tools showcased not only provided value during droughts but proved versatile and advantageous throughout all seasons. Lastly, the consideration of how consumers can connect with farmers during drought periods holds significant importance. To navigate these challenging times, producers require consumer support and should not be overlooked."

The event was also an opportunity for people from all parts of the state, coming from multiple specialisations to network and build useful connections relevant to their field of expertise. With part of the state already in the driest conditions on record and as the rest of the state heads into a very likely dry season the work of Drought Ready Tasmania is both timely and useful. More information and links to some of the facilities can be found on the Drought Ready Tasmania and Farmpoint websites.