The Benefits of Native Vegetation in Agriculture
A "pilot" 10 day course titled "The Benefits of Native Vegetation in Agriculture" has been put together by using existing information in an attempt to
· generate interest in biodiversity as an assistant to farm production and sustainability
· focus attention on the specific/potential economic benefits of native vegetation to traditional productive systems
· highlight potential economic gains directly from the products of native flora and
· highlight areas of research needed to augment anecdotal evidence that biodiversity in productive systems can add to production gains.
(Economic benefits can of course be improved by ensuring the resident/manager of a system has a sense of wellbeing, is working in line with his/her primary values and has a sense of pride in what he/she is doing).
GAV has been funded to run three pilot courses in different agricultural landscapes in order to refine course content and delivery processes. The first pilot is underway with a traditional field day structure based on the presentation of information in a classroom setting followed by a field trip to reinforce the theory in situ.
The ten day course is based on
· 3 days on the basic understanding of ecosystems.
· 6 days on specific uses of native vegetation. (Farm forestry, Indigenous grasses, shelter belts, niches for higher priced "clean green" products, surface and ground water quality and incentives for managing remnant vegetation)
· 1 day for participant presentations on their farm plan incorporating biodiversity.
This session is designed to generate discussion as to the legitimacy and viability of such a course and to encourage input into course structure and content.