The Australian dollar fell on Wednesday against the Japanese yen, after the Federal Government confirmed it would allow some farmers to raise their prices for grain to $4 per hectare.
The announcement follows months of protests by farmers who have been hit by a slump in wheat and other grains, as the price of rice and other staples rose.
But the dollar gained against the Australian dollar and other currencies after the news, with the euro and Japanese yen both hitting $1.12.
The Australian Government said it was taking steps to make sure farmers had enough to buy their crops.
“The Government is taking action to ensure that farmers are not left with insufficient cash to purchase their own food, and it is making it easier for them to access funds to purchase agricultural commodities,” a spokesman said.
“We are increasing the availability of farm credit, increasing the amount farmers can borrow, and providing more certainty and protection to farmers.”
Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said farmers who had been hit hard by the slump in commodity prices would be given a small amount of credit to buy food.
The move will be welcomed by farmers, who had hoped to buy grain at $4 a hectare before the crisis hit, but are now being forced to look at a much lower price. “
And those farmers will be given some assistance to get them through this,” he said.
The move will be welcomed by farmers, who had hoped to buy grain at $4 a hectare before the crisis hit, but are now being forced to look at a much lower price.
“This is going to help us to sell the grain we need at a price that will allow us to be able to pay the farmers for the grain they’re growing, which will help us continue to grow our economy and the value of our products,” Mr Joyce said.
Agriculture Minister John Barilaro said farmers would be able buy grain for $4 and would have access to a $4,000 loan from the Agriculture and Resources Union, which he described as a “real boost” to the industry.
“It is good news for the industry, particularly for farmers who will now have more certainty in terms not only in the price they can buy the grain but also in the quality of the grain,” Mr Barilaros said.
But he warned farmers against making the jump too quickly.
“I’ve said to the farmers that if they want to do this quickly, we need to do it well, but it’s going to take time,” he told 3AW radio.
“Farmers are looking at a lot of difficult things and a lot more uncertainty and a huge amount of uncertainty around what happens over the next few weeks, so it is important that we have a plan in place that helps farmers through that.”