GRANTS AVAILABLE: Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd (RIGHT) encourages farmers to apply for the Smart Farm grants, with Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack, and farmer Steve Daniels. (PHOTO: Taylor Battersby)
GRANTS AVAILABLE: Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd (RIGHT) encourages farmers to apply for the Smart Farm grants, with Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack, and farmer Steve Daniels. (PHOTO: Taylor Battersby)

Smart farmers to get support for innovative projects

FARMERS and landcare groups with a bright idea are encouraged to apply for funding of up to $50,000.

This is under round three of the Australian Government’s Smart Farms Small Grants program.

Flynn member Ken O’Dowd said the grants would help farmers turn innovative ideas into on-ground projects to improve the quality of their natural resources while increasing on-farm productivity.

“Farmers are the custodians of more than half of Australia’s land and they’re wanting to pass it on in a better state,” he said.

“These small grants can help our farmers, landholders and landcare groups in Flynn source funding to help improve natural resource management so the environment, communities and regional economies all benefit.”

Up to $5 million will be provided under Round three of the Smart Farms Small Grants.

Funding between $5000 and $50,000 will be available.

“Projects funded under the first two rounds included innovative methods to manage soil acidity, virtual fencing to protect riparian habitat, improving orchard pollination and bee health using drone technology as well as mentoring activities connecting farmers and students,” Mr O’Dowd said.

A total of $43.5 million will be allocated for Smart Farms Small Grants across an anticipated six annual rounds (2017-18 to 2022-23).

Under Round one, 77 projects valued at $4.75 million were approved, with another 110 projects valued at $9.25 million.

“Smart Farms Small Grants supports projects that increase the knowledge, skills and capacity of farming, forestry and fishing communities to adopt best practice sustainable agriculture,” Mr O’Dowd said.

Round three projects must be completed by June 30, 2022.

Round three Smart Farms Small Grants applications are now open until December 19, 2019.

For more information and to apply, visit the Community Grants Hub website.

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