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The 'Profitable Perennials' Project: A Case Study

  • Year: 2009
  • Author: Master, R; Bowyer, J; Heath, R
  • Journal Name: Extension Farming Systems Journal
  • Journal Number: Vol. 5, No. 1
  • Country: Australia
  • State/Region: Western Australia

The 'Profitable perennials' project delivered by the Department of Agriculture and Food WA in the south coast natural resource management (NRM) region aimed to facilitate the long term adoption of perennial pastures. NRM is the management of natural resources, such as soils, waterways and biodiversity, to ensure long term sustainability of the resource. The project included the following components: i) research; ii) funding to implement targeted works to protect high-value natural assets in strategic catchments; iii) a devolved grant to support establishment of perennial pastures outside of strategic catchments and; iv) technical support across the whole region to help farmers get perennials on the ground. In 2007 the project was evaluated to determine how the process used, particularly the grant and technical support in strategic catchments, affected adoption of perennial pastures by participants. Barriers and drivers to adoption of perennials were also identified. The project had a varied influence on participant capacity. Key learnings from the delivery and evaluation of this project include: i) genuine landholder involvement in decision making is valuable; ii) technical support at all levels (catchment to paddock) and the strategic use of incentives facilitates accelerated adoption; and iii) evaluation is a useful tool to inform project development.

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