Up to $200,000 is available from Smart Farms Small Grants to improve the management and quality of the natural resources and increases on-farm productivity.
Smart Farms Small Grants
The National Landcare Program Smart Farms Small Grants is an open, competitive, grant opportunity to support one- to two-year projects to increase farming, forestry and fishing communities’ awareness, knowledge, skills and capacity to adopt sustainable natural resource management best practice.
Australia’s soils, water, vegetation and biodiversity underpin the productivity and sustainability of agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries. But these natural resources are under threat. Pressures on Australia’s natural resources can limit the viability and productivity of food and fibre businesses. The Australian Government’s National Landcare Program aims to protect, conserve and provide for the productive use of Australia’s water, soil, plants and animals and the ecosystems in which they live and interact, in partnership with industry, communities and other governments.
As the managers of around 61 per cent of the Australian landmass, farmers have an essential role in protecting and rehabilitating natural resources. Natural resources management practices that improve and protect the condition of soil, water, vegetation and biodiversity also assist farming, forestry and fishing industries to adapt to significant changes in climate, weather and markets.
The principal component of the National Landcare Program administered by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is Smart Farms. Smart Farms will run to 2022–23. It is made up of three elements:
- Smart Farming Partnerships—will invest $55 million through two rounds of competitive grants into medium to large scale projects to encourage the development, trial and roll-out of innovative tools and farm practices.
- Smart Farms Small Grants—is a $55 million competitive small grants program over several rounds to support the adoption of best practices that improves the management and quality of our natural resources and increases on-farm productivity.
- Building Landcare Community and Capacity—will invest $24 million to support the sharing of knowledge and achievements, and promote community leadership.
Grant applications for a minimum of $5 000 or maximum of $200 000 (GST exclusive) will be considered for projects focussed on achieving one or both of the outcomes at 1.4 above. A total of $9.2 million is available for Smart Farms Small Grants Round 2.
All projects should be completed within two years of executing a grant agreement.
To be eligible, your project must meet all of the following:
- the project must contribute to achieving at least one of the two outcomes described at item 1.4 of the guidelines
- projects contributing to achieving Outcome 1 must contribute to improving Australian food and fibre business productivity and profitability and must protect or improve eligible natural resources
- all project activities must be planned to be completed by 30 September 2021
- all project activities must be eligible activities
- no project activities may be ineligible activities
- the project must achieve a public benefit that would not occur without the grant and that is at-least proportional to the amount of the grant, and
- the project must not provide a private benefit that is disproportionately greater than the amount of any private contribution to the project.
To be eligible to apply for a grant you must be an individual or an organisation capable of entering into a legally binding and enforceable agreement with the Commonwealth. Eligible legal entities include the following entity types:
- Commonwealth company
- Corporate Commonwealth entity
- Corporate state or territory entity
- Incorporated association
- Indigenous corporation
- Individual or natural person
- International entity
- Local government
- Non-corporate state or territory entity or statutory authority
- Sole trader
- Statutory entity
- Trustee on behalf of a trust.
Applications from consortia are acceptable, as long as you have a lead applicant who is eligible and who will be solely accountable to the Commonwealth for the delivery of grant activities.
Applications close 11 January 2019.