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Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has welcomed new funding to help Gippsland farmers to become more resilient to prolonged dry periods.

Mr Chester said today East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority would receive $440,000 to run workshops and peer-to-peer education sessions for beef and sheep farmers on drought resilience practices.

“This will give these farmers in East Gippsland an opportunity to learn from others who have successfully buffered their farm businesses from prolonged dry periods and recovered from drought,” Mr Chester said.

“They’ll be shown new ways of managing their land to mitigate drought risks and improve their resilience, including the use of different pasture varieties and how to maintain vegetation coverage on paddocks.

“The farmers will learn about ways to best manage their core breeding stock through a drought.

“The funding will also be used to undertake local trials of plant varieties to determine which are best suited to an area to withstand dry conditions.’

The East Gippsland project is one of 12 across Australia and one of three in Victoria to share $5 million from the Federal Government’s Future Drought Fund through the Natural Resources Management Drought Resilience Program.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud, who met with drought-affected farmers in Orbost with Mr Chester in March last year, said the program was part of the Federal Government’s Drought Response, Resilience and Preparedness Plan.

“I am proud to be working with Darren to be delivering the support farmers and communities need to be sustainable and productive,” Mr Littleproud said.

Mr Chester said he hoped the project would better equip farmers to face drought and help to sustain the profitability of the sector into the future.

“This project will help our farmers to adopt new practices and technologies for managing agricultural land to improve resilience to drought,” Mr Chester said.

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