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Prioritisation of strategies to managing climate variability especially drought

Project start date: 03 October 2017
Project end date: 19 January 2018
Publication date: 14 March 2018
Project status: Completed
Livestock species: Sheep, Lamb, Grassfed cattle
Relevant regions: National
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The Australian livestock industries underpin prosperous rural communities, natural resource management and the interests of families and rural communities across regional Australia. Yet these industries can face significant challenges in the face of climate variability, market volatility and policy uncertainty. These factors place significant pressure on the finances, health and well-being of individual producers, with flow on impacts on land condition and local communities. The complex sustainability challenges faced by agricultural producers require a coordinated multi-sector approach to innovation and adaptation to support improved decision-making.

Co-innovation, based on a multi-participant processes and partnerships, has been suggested as a suitable approach to addressing complex interactions between climate, environment, policy and markets such as those faced by agricultural producers. This multi-participatory process works by bringing together stakeholders with different skill sets and experiences to develop innovative solutions to enhance the adaptive capacity and sustainability of the agricultural production system.

This pilot study aimed to identify the RD&E needs in relation to risk, adaptation and resilience, particularly with respect to drought. It surveyed a range of stakeholders associated with the livestock industries in four regions of Australia in order to capture the range of issues faced by the industry and, in particular, current responses to risk and the barriers and drivers of adoption of new innovations (information, technologies, practices).

A number of potential opportunities for research and development investment aimed at building capacity to enhance the sustainability of the industry and regional communities which could be investigated in detail through R&D for Profit funding Round 3 were identified through this scoping project. Importantly, the information derived from this survey will provide a valuable starting point for a multi-stakeholder co-innovation process aimed at supporting more sustainable practices for increased profitability and resilience by decision makers in the Australian livestock industries.

More information

Project manager: Ted Parish
Primary researcher: University of Southern Queensland