Jan believes Australia has the potential to be a key player in meeting the needs of the global market for fresh food.
Jan believes Australia has the potential to be a key player in meeting the needs of the global market for fresh food. © iStockphoto.com/NightAndDayImages

Farmers call for start-up funding

AUSTRALIAN Young Farmer of the Year, Jan Vydra has serious concerns for the future of farming.

Jan, who operates herb farms in Bundaberg and Mareeba, has returned from a national trip inspecting current and potential herb-growing properties for his company Australian Fresh Leaf Herbs.

Mr Vydra has been making these trips for the past three years to search for quality growers and new business opportunities.

Jan believes Australia has the potential to be a key player in meeting the needs of the global market for fresh food.

"Some experts talk about a fresh food crisis for Australia and with what I have seen recently I think that it is a real concern. The average age of farmers is 55, and with sales of fertile farmland to foreign interests it does not bode well for Australian fresh food production," he said.

He is also concerned that young people seem reluctant to choose farming as a career option. At 29, and after only three years as a farmer, Mr Vydra and his business partner William Pham have developed Australian Fresh Leaf Herbs into a multi-million dollar agribusiness.

Mr Vydra believes the Federal Government should support primary production with investment for start-ups.



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