Lismore City Council's Manager of Economic Development, Mark Batten. Photo Contributed
Lismore City Council's Manager of Economic Development, Mark Batten. Photo Contributed Contributed

It's all about agribusiness

FARMERS can learn how to improve returns with an agribusiness workshop being run later this month in Lismore.

Lismore City Council has partnered with the NSW Department of Industry to host an agribusiness workshop to help farmers improve returns and encourage landholders to take advantage of opportunities available for under-utilised land on their properties.

Council's Manager Economic Development Mark Batten said even if you've never considered farming but have some available land, the agribusiness workshop could provide some food for thought.

"The Northern Rivers is a food bowl, and in 2010/11 agricultural output in Lismore City was $76 million, but it's an industry that requires innovation and diversification if it's to remain a major regional supplier of jobs and growth," Mr Batten said.

"What we need to grow output is people who are keen to reinvigorate their rural properties by establishing new incomes and markets.

"There are plenty of opportunities out there and this workshop will give landholders an excellent summary of how and where they can begin to diversify their operations or start a new business on unused land.

"We want to examine how to boost production capacity in traditional farming sectors such as dairy, beef and horticulture but also identify the opportunities in the niche sectors, such as bushfoods or bio-dynamics."

The workshop will feature industry presentations with speakers including representatives from the Department of Primary Industries, Local Land Services, Freshzest, Nimbin Valley Pecans, the NSW Sugar Milling Cooperative, Norco as well as 'The Five Acre Farmer' Will Cotteril, who will talk on productivity on small-scale farms.

The workshop will also include information about various programs and support available to the farming community.

Council's agribusiness workshop is on Wednesday, 16 September from 8.30am to 4.45pm at the Coleman's Point Function Centre (Greyhound Track, 1 Molesworth Street, Lismore).

Attendance is free, however bookings are essential by Wednesday, September 9. Phone 1300 87 83 87.