Joint media release: Albanese Government invests in new sustainable farming investment vehicle ‘Wilga Farming’
The Hon Chris Bowen MP, Minister for Climate Change and Energy
Sen The Hon. Murray Watt, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
The Albanese Government has thrown its support behind a new agriculture investment vehicle, Wilga Farming, that will promote the use of low-emissions technologies and carbon sequestration across Australian farmland.
With a $50 million investment, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has joined forces with global investment group CDPQ to provide a total of $200 million to Wilga Farming to help reduce carbon emissions and improve productivity in the sector.
Wilga Farming has purchased its first asset, The Glen – a 1200-hectare property near Delungra in northern New South Wales, where it will consider a range of initiatives to improve farm productivity, such as reducing synthetic fertilizer use and improving irrigation, grazing, and soil carbon management.
This is a great opportunity to demonstrate the economic benefits of various on farm practices which will not only reduce emissions but help Australian farming become more resilient and adapt to climate change, while remaining competitive in changing global markets.
Wilga Farming will be managed by Gunn Agri Partners, an Australian manager focused on sustainable farmland management. CDPQ and the CEFC have also acquired a minority stake in Gunn Agri Partners, enabling them to accelerate decarbonisation efforts across its portfolio, worth some $750 million.
Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen highlighted the significance of this investment in showcasing the potential economic opportunities from reducing emissions from food and fibre production.
“Agriculture is responsible for over 15% of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions, and by supporting initiatives like this we’re investing in solutions to drive up farm productivity and profits and drive down emissions at the same time.”
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt welcomed the investment.
“Australian farmers are doing great things on the land, and I’m very pleased to see the Albanese Government supporting that work,” Minister Watt said.
“Bringing down on-farm costs through efficient energy, fertiliser and water use is good for business, while also being good for the environment.
“It’s important we look at ways to be more sustainable in order to reduce emissions, build resilience, develop new income streams, and ensure Australia’s long-term agricultural productivity and food and fibre security, especially as the changing climate impacts what we can grow, where and how.”