A new Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub based in Hobart is set to transform the way that Tasmanian farmers and communities prepare for and respond to drought.

The Australian Government will invest $8 million to establish the Hub under the $5 billion Future Drought Fund, with $13 million to be contributed by Hub members.

Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam said the Hub would oversee the co-design and delivery of innovative projects and practices aimed at boosting drought resilience and agricultural productivity.

“For the first time, this Tasmanian Hub will bring together local researchers, farmers, supply chain experts, land and water managers, traditional owners, and other stakeholders to take on the challenges of drought,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.

“Through the Hub, they will design and deliver innovative tools and strategies for Tassie farmers and their communities, boosting drought resilience and future proofing our regional communities.

“The Tasmania Hub will be a shopfront for farmers to access innovative technologies and practices that enable them to be more prepared and resilient to drought.

Minister Duniam said that in addition to the core site at the University of Tasmania’s Hobart campus, regional nodes in Burnie, Launceston, Forthside and Elliot would increase the on-the ground reach to farmers and communities.

“The Hub will bring together organisations like Beanstalk Agtech, Hydro-Tasmania, Tasmanian Irrigation, Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association, Soils for Life and Tasmanian Women in Agriculture Inc. to engage directly with farmers, traditional owners, agribusinesses to empower stakeholders to co-design drought preparedness activities for the whole region,” Minister Duniam said.

“The Hub will build the capabilities of farmers and rural communities to become more resilient to drought through co-design activities that empower members to help create innovative solutions that are relevant, useful and used by Tasmanian farming communities.”

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the Tasmania Hub is one of eight across the country.

“Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs have come about through the forward-thinking Future Drought Fund – a long term, sustained investment of $100 million each year to build drought preparedness,” Minister Littleproud said.

“Drought is a natural part of the Australian landscape and these Hubs will play a critical role in helping farmers and agricultural communities to be better prepared.”