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Applications open for share of $60m Smart Farming grants

Grain Central, October 18, 2017

The Na​tional Landcare Program’s new Smart Farming Partnerships is offering multi-year grants of between $250,000 and $4 million to put in place new and innovative sustainable land management practices, which protect and improve the condition of soils, vegetation and biodiversity.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, called for groups of skilled organisations and individuals in the agriculture, fishing, aquaculture and farm forestry industries to come together to apply for the $60 million Smart Farming Partnerships, which open tomorrow, Thursday, 19 October.

“The Smart Farming Partnerships will support the development, trialling and implementation of next generation sustainable farming, forestry and fishing practices,” Mr Joyce said.

“The Coalition Government supports innovation and these partnership grants will get behind larger projects and support the formation of effective partnerships between experienced and skilled organisations and individuals.

“The grants will help groups of organisations to come up with, or take advantage of the next great idea, the benefits of which can be shared across the sector.

“Having healthy and productive soils, biodiversity and vegetation benefits farmers, communities and consumers.”

Under the program these partnerships will:

  • develop, trial and implement new and innovative tools that protect and improve the condition of natural resources (in particular soils and vegetation)
  • support productive and profitable agriculture, fishing, aquaculture and farm forestry industries
  • protect Australia’s biodiversity

Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Luke Hartsuyker, said the Coalition Government has just finished a productive round of community consultations to help inform the next six years of the National Landcare Program.

“National community consultation sessions have wrapped up this week, attended by over 350 people, giving us great foundations for the next phase of the National Landcare Program,” Minister Hartsuyker said.

“‘Farming smarter’ is the mantra for the next round of Landcare projects—helping organisations and individuals to put their heads together to develop innovative sustainable agriculture practices.

“I encourage interested organisations to visit www.nrm.gov.au for more information on the grants and how to apply.”​

 

National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) President Fiona Simson urged farmers and regional communities, through farming systems and natural resource management groups to put their heads together and develop project ideas covered under the program.

Eligible works include those that address the mutual challenges of productivity and sustainability.

 

“The resources provided under the National Landcare Program, along with the investment made by industry and individual farmers, assist us to demonstrate real progress towards a more sustainable future.”

In March this year, the NFF signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Natural Resource Management Regions Australia (NRM Regions), committing both organisations to working more closely together.

“With NRM Regions Australia, the NFF continues to seek to foster new partnerships with NRM groups across the country to carry out land management initiatives that benefit both the environment and farm productivity and sustainability.”

Ms Simson said ultimately, the success of the Smart Farming Partnerships initiative would be determined by the quality of applications received.

Source: Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, National Farmers Federation

 

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