Farming on the fringe is sprouting challenges

Skyrocketing land values are leading to increased rates

Opinion
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MELBOURNE is surrounded by a highly productive food bowl producing 35pc of the State's eggs, 96pc berries, 92pc cauliflowers and 40pc potatoes

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MELBOURNE is surrounded by a highly productive food bowl producing 35 percent of the State's eggs, 96pc berries, 92pc cauliflowers, 40pc potatoes and so much more.

As I stand here on my farm I can see the city skyline but not before viewing the thousands of cauliflowers, lettuce and broccoli that feed our growing population.

The traditional agricultural landscapes we know and love can be seen on the fringes of Melbourne in what is now known as peri-urban farming.

It's a hugely important farming zone, especially for horticulture produce and makes an enormous contribution to the fresh vegetables consumers have access to in supermarkets right across the city and interstate.

Whilst being so close to the city has its advantages, including supply chain access and transport options, it comes with a different range of challenges.

Skyrocketing land values are translating into increasing rates for some, whilst some have decided to exit the industry as the city's urban boundaries continue to encroach.

Whilst these issues are different to what those farming the land in regional Victoria are experiencing, it's an issue that isn't only isolated to Werribee South.

Farming land surrounding Melbourne's urban boundaries continues to face the same issues we're seeing here.

The VFF earlier this year made a submission on Protecting Melbourne's Green Wedges and Agricultural Land to highlight the many and complex issues facing farmers and the varying viewpoints of landholders on the issue.

Whilst it's clear farming on the metropolitan fringe is unique in many ways and has it pros and cons, it's clear it plays a vital role in Victorian agriculture and needs to be recognised for the critical role it plays.

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