THE first of eight national drought research and resilience hubs has been set up for northern NSW and southern Queensland.
Based out of Toowoomba and run by the University of Southern Queensland, the Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub will drive the uptake of new technologies and practices, and build collaboration with stakeholders across the region.
The hub will bring together organisations such as Beanstalk AgTech, Queensland Fruit and Vegetable Growers, and the Red Cross to engage directly with farmers, traditional owners, agribusinesses to co-design drought preparedness activities for the whole region.
The hub includes five nodes in Longreach, Roma, Stanthorpe, Lismore and Narrabri, strategically located to represent a range of agricultural industries, and will be a shopfront with people on the ground.
Agriculture and Drought Minister David Littleproud said the hubs would become flagship precincts for agricultural innovation.
"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," Mr Littleproud said.
The remaining seven hubs will be located in southern NSW, Far North Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, the Top End and south-west WA.
The Hubs are the centrepiece of the Commonwealth's $86 million Future Drought Fund Research and Adoption Program, which in turn is funded by the government's $5-billion Future Drought Fund.