Smart Farms Small Grants boost for Wide Bay soil
- Smart Farms Small Grants: Soil Extension Activities round is now open.
- Wide Bay organisations and individuals can apply for grants of up to $250,000 over two years.
- Two-year Soil Extension Activities to improve understanding of Australia’s soil condition and how to better manage it.
- Grants supporting outcomes under the Smart Farms Small Grants Program and the National Soil Strategy.
- Applications open close 9pm AEDT 12 October 2021.
Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien is encouraging Wide Bay individuals and organisations to apply for a share of $13 million for activities to assist farmers and land managers improve their understanding and management of their soil.
Mr O’Brien said the final round of Smart Farms Small Grants would fund a diverse range of soil extension activities across Australia, with grants of between $100,000 to $250,000 available.
“These grants will enable our local farmers and land managers build on their knowledge and awareness of soil, leading to better soil management practices and helping improve productivity,” Mr O’Brien said.
“This will also deliver benefits for our communities and natural resources in Wide Bay, and will help to improve our air and water quality.”
Under this round, multiple activities may be applied for in one application. Grants are available for between $100,000 to $250,000 per activity and will be delivered over two years.
Applicants may apply for a maximum of $2 million per application.
Eligible activities could include engaging a soil extension officer; conducting soil management workshops, seminars, roadshows or field days; creating communications products, webinars or online materials; and/or establishing trials, demonstrations and monitoring sites.
Extension Activities will seek to improve soil management, improving productivity and profitability. These measures will also support and complement the two-year National Soil Monitoring and Incentives Pilot Program which forms part of the National Soil Strategy.
Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said the round provided an exciting opportunity for raising awareness and knowledge of our nation’s soil.
“This round will continue to support the Smart Farms Small Grants Program outcomes while also supporting outcomes under the National Soil Strategy,” Minister Littleproud said.
“We all know that healthy soil is the basis for great agricultural output as well as environmental benefits, so this final round of Smart Farms Small Grants is getting back to basics.
“Soil extension activities will take action to improve soil health with evidence-based interventions leading to improved soil management practices.
“If we get this right, our farmers and land managers will see increased productivity and profitability, which will help the entire agriculture sector reach its Ag2030 goal to grow agriculture to $100 billion by 2030.”
For more information and details on how to apply, visit the Community Grants Hub www.communitygrants.gov.au/grants
- The Smart Farms program is the key agriculture portfolio initiative under phase two of the $1.1 billion National Landcare Program.
- To date, Smart Farms Small Grants has funded a total of 384 projects to the value of $25.5 million.
- The National Soil Strategy sets out how Australia will value, manage and improve its soil for the next 20 years.
- More than $54 million will be available under National Soil Monitoring and Incentives Pilot Program to encourage farmers and land managers to undertake more comprehensive soil testing in exchange for sharing their data with the program.
- Information about the Australian Government’s investment in Landcare can be found at www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/natural-resources/landcare/national-landcare-program/australian-government-investment-in-landcare
- Information about the National Soil Strategy can be found at www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/natural-resources/soils