Farmers and Landcare groups in the New England are encouraged to apply for funding of up to $50,000 under round three of the Australian Government’s Smart Farms Small Grants.
Federal Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, 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.
“These small grants can help our farmers, landholders and Landcare groups in the New England source funding to help improve natural resource management so the environment, communities and regional economies all benefit – a need brought into sharp focus given the ongoing drought in our region,” Mr Joyce said.
“Up to $5 million will be provided under Round three of the Smart Farms Small Grants, with funding of between $5,000 and $50,000 available.
“Local projects funded under the first two rounds included soil management at Glen Innes, native vegetation management on the Northern Tablelands as well as advice on techniques and new technologies about managing feral animals in the New England.”
Other grant applications have also included virtual fencing to protect riparian habitat; improving orchard pollination and bee health using drone technology, as well as mentoring activities connecting farmers and students.
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.
A total of $43.5 million is available 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 approved in Round two.
Round three projects must be completed by 30 June 2022. Round three Smart Farms Small Grants applications are open until 19 December 2019.
For more information and to apply visit the Community Grants Hub website www.communitygrants.gov.au
Recently funded Smart Farm projects in New England:
- Soils in the Spotlight Project: aimed to increase the knowledge and capacity of landholders in the Glen Innes district to adopt and implement improved soil management practices.
- Grazing, Soil and Native Vegetation Management for the Future in the Northern Tablelands, to improve farmers’ skills and practical knowledge on soil health and fertility, groundcover and native vegetation.
- Ferals in Focus - Glen Innes: facilitate sharing of information, experiences, techniques and new technologies about managing vertebrate pests such as rabbits, feral pigs, foxes and wild dogs.