Challenges facing South Burnett farmers
THERE are a number of issues facing the South Burnett's various agriculture industries, according to South Burnett Agriculture Network chairwoman Kristy Frahm.
"Some of the issues highlighted by producers and growers from across the South Burnett at the last network meeting in August was the cost of electricity,” Ms Frahm said.
"Water was an issue in general, especially water security.
"It is important to note it was not just people saying we don't have enough water, but being interested in exploring all the options for water use and security.”
She said there were other issues as well.
"Telecommunications has been raised as well, especially affordable connectivity,” Ms Frahm said.
"Even though people say they can connect, the data costs can be significant.
"It was pleasing to hear health and well-being was mentioned at the meeting as well. People acknowledge health and well-being is very important for producers. We need to keep the focus on that as well.”
Ms Frahm said the beauty of the agriculture network, which involved not just farmers, but also industry bodies, lobby groups and more, was everyone willing to come together.
"Not in a way of trying to find an immediate solution, but willing to explore options,” she said.
"That's really key to regional development, look at all the different measures that might lead to improvements being made in some of the challenges facing agriculture.”
Ms Frahm said there was not always a quick, easy, obvious solution to fixing regional issues.
"Maybe it is about us all collaborating and combining efforts to find solutions,” she said.
"We need to research all of the options that might help in providing some improvements and solutions to some of those challenges.
"It's about working together. It's about more research and development through collaboration, as a collaborative group that looks at all the options and finds new ways of addressing the issues.”
Ms Frahm said that was the whole point of the South Burnett Community Agriculture Network, a network for producers driven by producers.
"For people who join in the network, there's an opportunity for them to come together with producers from throughout the region, as well as raise some of the issues they are facing as producers,” she said.
"It's important to keep the conversation going.”