RURAL AID SPENDS $20M SINCE SEPTEMBER 2018
5 March 2019
The number of farmers registering for drought assistance has hit the highest level in the past five months, according to Australia’s leading rural charity Rural Aid.
The spike in registrations saw a total of 638 new farmers register for assistance in February, with the majority needing fodder to feed their livestock.
This brings the total new farmer registrations for 2019 – just two months – to 1,100.
In the past six months, Rural Aid has distributed 48,000 bales of hay to more than 2,500 farmers and has disbursed more than $20 million for fodder, mental health counselling and financial assistance.
Rural Aid CEO Charles Alder said the number of new registrations in February 2019 was a clear indication that the drought continued to take its toll.
“The number of new farmers needing fodder is a signal to all involved in supporting the agricultural sector that we cannot afford to be complacent,” Mr Alder said.
“I, like many other Australians, are particularly concerned that if we don’t get the Autumn break we need this month that there will even more pressure in an already precarious situation.
“From our perspective, our ability to source hay for farmers will reduce markedly if the rains don’t eventuate.”
STATE BY STATE JAN TO FEB 2019:
Queensland saw the highest increase in percentage terms with 176 farmers registering in February compared to 75 in January. (961 have registered in the past six months)
NSW continues to have the highest numbers of any state with 357 new registrations in February compared to 305 in January. (4,845 have registered in the past six months)
Victoria had 70 new registrations in February, up from 41 in January. (236 have registered in the past six months)
SA grew from 32 new registration in January to 35 in February. (208 have registered in the past six months)
For more information on Rural Aid’s upcoming projects including the new Buy A Cow initiative to support flood affected farmers in North West Queensland visit www.buyacow.com.au