Farmers with clever, sustainable agriculture ideas can turn them into reality by applying for grants of up to $50,000 under Round three of the Smart Farms Small Grants program.
Minister for Agriculture, Bridget McKenzie, said Australian farmers had a long history of early adoption of innovations.
“We want to hear about clever projects that improve natural resource management and benefit the environment, community and economy,” Minister McKenzie said.
“Right now Australians are concerned about our farmers because of this long and damaging drought.
“Justified as those concerns are, those farmers who are less affected are looking ahead because bad as the current drought is, agriculture has a bright future.
“Smart Farms Small Grants is one way our Government is encouraging the uptake of new knowledge and skills and increasing the capacity of farming, forestry and fishing communities to adopt best practice sustainable agriculture systems.
“Farmers have always looked after the land and through these grants we can give them a helping hand with that task, so I encourage them to apply.”
Projects funded under the first two rounds included new soil acidity management techniques; virtual fencing to protect riparian habitat; improved orchard pollination and bee health using drone technology, as well as mentoring activities connecting farmers and students.
Up to $5 million will be provided under Round 3 of Smart Farms Small Grants, with funding of between $5,000 and $50,000 available. Projects may be delivered locally and regionally-and must be completed by 30 June 2022.
The Smart Farms program is the key agriculture initiative under phase two of the National Landcare Program.