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What is the Future Drought Fund: Long-term Trials of Drought Resilient Farming Practices Program?
The Future Drought Fund: Long-term Trials of Drought Resilient Farming Practices Program is a grant opportunity which aims to fund projects that contribute to improved drought resilience through investigations that explore innovative approaches to farm productivity and natural capital.
The Future Drought Fund (FDF) is a long-term investment fund that provides a sustainable source of funding to help Australian farmers and agricultural-dependent communities and businesses become more prepared for, and resilient to, the impacts of drought.
The Funding Plan has 3 inter-connected strategic priorities: economic resilience for an innovative and profitable agricultural sector; environmental resilience for sustainable and improved functioning of farming landscapes; and social resilience for resourceful and adaptable communities.
The FDF supports a range of drought resilience initiatives including:
- research and adoption of new and existing knowledge and technology
- improved farm business planning and decision making
- improved environmental and natural resource management
- a range of community resilience initiatives.
The program’s over-arching objective is to investigate innovative and transformational cropping, grazing and mixed farming practices through the lens of drought resilience and associated risk management.
The outcomes of the long-term trials are to:
- increase the capacity of farmers to prepare for, and respond to, future droughts and climate change
- enable farmers and other land managers to experiment with the adoption of innovations that build drought resilience
- establish and strengthen networks between stakeholders to improve knowledge sharing and translation of drought resilience practices, systems, and approaches
- through extension activities, increase the uptake of drought resilience innovations on farms to support reduced exposure to drought risks, and improve economic, environmental, and social resilience to drought.
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It is anticipated that most grants will be awarded up to $8 million GST exclusive, depending on the scope of the grant activity and its complexity.
To be eligible, your grant activity must:
- align with the objectives of the program
- meet the requirements of an eligible agricultural industry, that falls within the cropping, grazing and mixed farming sectors.
Different commodities, types of farms, regions, and communities will present different needs and opportunities. The best results will be achieved when the insights gained are integrated into production systems, driving continuous innovation in products, practices, and value propositions.
Examples of practices to enhance drought resilience may include innovative approaches to:
- rotational/prescribed grazing techniques and technologies to conserve pastures
- soil management techniques and strategies to enhance physical, chemical and/or biological properties
- water management strategies including improved infrastructure efficiencies
- diversification of farming practices and systems
- novel applications of fodder management
- landscape management approaches to support soil preservation, vegetation, and animal health
- multi species mixes for grazing and crop production purposes
- technologies supporting digital cropping and livestock management activities.
Applications are sought from collaborative, multi-disciplinary and multi-institution consortia, including farmers. The consortium must nominate a lead organisation who will be solely accountable to the department for the delivery of the activities.
To be eligible you must be the lead organisation and be one of the following entity types:
- Indigenous Corporation
- Corporate Commonwealth Entity
- Non-Corporate Commonwealth Statutory Authority
- Corporate State or Territory Entity
- Non-corporate State or Territory Statutory Authority
- Local Government Entity2
- Incorporated Association
- Statutory Entity
- Unincorporated Association
You must meet the following additional eligibility requirements before you apply:
- have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
- be registered for the purposes of GST
- have an account with an Australian financial institution
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Applications close 15 March 2023.