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AgriFutures Producer Technology Uptake Grants open for applications

Fast-tracking on-farm and on-boat technology adoption is the aim of AgriFutures Australia’s Producer Technology Uptake Program. Applications for Round 2 are now open.

Building on the success of the March 2021 pilot, AgriFutures Australia is again offering producer groups who represent farmers, fishers and foresters funding to adopt technology solutions within their business.

Grants of up to $20,000 are available through a competitive selection process to deliver activities that specifically address known barriers to technology adoption identified by the group. A wide range of activities are eligible, and programs are to be delivered over 12 months.

Under this national program, eligible groups from every state and territory are encouraged to apply. This year AgriFutures Australia are widening the criteria to include industry groups that have pre-existing extension and capacity building functions for producers on the ground. The stipulation is that groups must not have previously received funding through the pilot round of this AgriFutures program, and have at least 10 producers committed to participating in the activity.

AgriFutures Australia Manager of Innovation, Ulicia Raufers said the program has already successfully led to increased technology adoption among participating groups and individuals.

“In 2021, around 400 producers across 20 groups took part in the pilot. We have already seen first-hand the huge leaps they have made in not only adopting technology but also in building capacity and confidence across their region’s producer network to look for new solutions,” said Ms Raufers.

“We are really proud to support producers on-the-ground to understand what opportunities exist and to help them overcome common barriers to adoption. Many of the groups have told us that they wouldn’t have taken the leap without the funding support or resources offered through the program.”

A key part of the program delivery is a capacity building workshop offered as part of each grant, providing participants with practical information and tools to develop a farm tech plan that matches their problems with known technology solutions. As part of building the plan, producers explore gaps in know-how, capital or expertise for adoption

“Linking the capacity building and planning elements with practical group-led activities and peer-to-peer learning are critical ingredients to driving impact around technology adoption,” Ms Raufers said.

Alice Moore is the Australian Tea Tree Industry Extension Officer and is one of the groups that has experienced firsthand how the Producer Technology Uptake Program can benefit industries in their technology adoption journey.

“Being able to predict yield earlier in the growing season supports better logistical planning around forward selling, processing, transport and labour requirements. The farm imagery we were able to develop also provides other benefits including benchmarking tree performance and identifying and responding to constraints such as water, nutrition, pests and disease.

“We were able to work with the University of New England to validate this technology for the Tea Tree Oil industry, which is something we may not have been able to do without the support of the program.”

There will be two intakes on offer for this round of the Producer Technology Uptake Program, with projects commencing in either December 2021 or April 2022. All interested applicants are required to apply by November 10th, 2021, indicating in the application their preferred intake year.

To be eligible for the AgriFutures Australia Producer Technology Uptake Program, you must:

  • Be based in Australia
  • Be a producer group, representing producer members (farmers, fishers and/ or foresters)
  • Have a registered ABN
  • Have a group with at least 10 producers committed to attending a training workshop
  • Have experience in managing grants, including financial and reporting systems
  • Be able to demonstrate that participation in the program will genuinely benefit producers in your group.

To find out more about this program, including application guidelines, visit: agrifutures.com.au/national-rural-issues/producer-technology-uptake-program/

Applications close Wednesday 10 November 2021 and are to be submitted via the smartygrants website.


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