What is the Innovative Agricultural Trials in Indian Ocean Territories?
The Innovative Agricultural Trials in Indian Ocean Territories is a grant opportunity to assist small-scale farming trials on Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands in reducing reliance on costly imports of fresh produce, instead allowing the community to buy fresh, local produce supporting better health outcomes.
The Innovative Agricultural Trials in Indian Ocean Territories will run over 2 years from 2021–22 to 2022–23 on Christmas Island (CI) and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands (CKI). It promotes economic diversification and growth by supporting agricultural or aquaculture trial demonstration sites designed to identify different produce that can be grown in the region and trial niche agricultural or aquaculture techniques. The program was announced as part of the Indian Ocean Territories Economic Diversification strategy.
The program aims to:
- reduce food costs to the IOT community by reducing the need for costly imports
- allow the IOT community to buy fresh local produce and support better health outcomes
- undertake sound agricultural or aquaculture trials and produce results that are repeatable and adaptable
- develop a niche agricultural or aquaculture industry in the IOT that would contribute to food security and greater self-sufficiency.
Grants from $50,000 to $150,000 for projects up to 11 months.
To be eligible your project must:
- set up a new local agricultural or aquaculture trial demonstration site in the IOT to identify different produce that can be grown in the region (existing gardens, or farm land can be used as long as the agricultural or aquaculture component of the project is not already in existence)
- be aimed at trialling innovative agricultural or aquaculture and farming techniques
- undertake farming research and produce rigorous research based farming methodologies
- encourage local community participation including knowledge sharing, community engagement and collaboration with local businesses
- have at least $50,000 in eligible expenditure.
Eligible activities may include:
- establishment of an agricultural or aquaculture trial site (may take form of a community garden) including farming structures (e.g. fences, greenhouse, vertical farm construction, seaweed or prawn farm)
- developing an agricultural or aquaculture site for commercial or entrepreneurial purpose (e.g. prawn farms for export to Asia), where projects may be accessible to the broader public
- research activities including collaboration with research organisations
- community events including education and training activities
- land cultivation for farming (e.g. seedling, transplanting, tilling etc.)
- farm maintenance (e.g. watering, weeding and applying agrochemicals).
To be eligible you must have an Australian business number (ABN) and be one of the following entities:
- an entity incorporated in Australia
- a company limited by guarantee
- an incorporated association
- an incorporated not for profit organisation
- a non-distributive co-operative
- an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust
- an Australian local government agency or body as defined in Section 14 (Glossary)
- an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth)
- a registered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land council.
The program can only accept applications where:
- where the project activities are located on Christmas Island or the Cocos (Keeling) Islands
- where you provide evidence from your board (or chief executive officer or equivalent if there is no board) that the project is supported, and that you can complete the project and meet the costs of the project not covered by grant funding.
Applications close 31 March 2022.