Government assistance for agri big and small

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Government assistance for agri big and small

Agribusiness Bulletin

A closer look at two government schemes supporting rural R&D.

The Agribusiness Bulletin

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Government assistance for agri big and small

With around 60% of Australian farm products destined for export markets, securing the productivity and profitability of the local agriculture industry is vital to Australia’s international competitiveness and terms of trade.

One of Australia’s great strengths is the quality of its research sector and it is important to leverage this world-beating advantage to enhance the performance of the domestic agriculture industry.

In this edition of the Agribusiness Bulletin, we feature two government schemes supporting rural R&D.

The Commonwealth Government’s $100 million Rural Research and Development (R&D) for Profit programme provides grant funding to rural research and development corporations (RDCs) to collaborate with researchers, businesses or not-for-profits for research that boosts the profitability and productivity of Australian farmers.

The first round of Rural R&D for Profit closed on 15 December 2014 and successful applicants were announced on 6 May 2015.

Of the $30 million allocated to Rural R&D for Profit Round 1, the Minister for Agriculture approved $26.7 million for twelve research projects on diverse topics such as development of the Yellowtail Kingfish aquaculture industry, improved use of seasonal forecasting for profitability, and smarter irrigation for profit.

The full list of approved projects is below.

 

Applicant
Project title

Australian Pork Limited

Waste to revenue: novel fertilisers and feeds

Cotton Research and Development Corporation

Smarter irrigation for profit

Dairy Australia Limited

Stimulating private sector extension in Australian agriculture to increase returns from R&D

Dairy Australia Limited

MIRprofit: integrating very large genomic and milk infrared data to improve profitability of dairy cows

Fisheries Research and Development Corporation

Growing a profitable, innovative, collaborative Australian Yellowtail Kingfish aquaculture industry: bringing ‘white’ fish to the market

Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited

Multi-scale monitoring tools for managing Australian Tree Crops: Industry meets innovation

Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited

Adaptive area-wide management of Qfly using SIT: Guidelines for efficient and effective pest suppression and stakeholder adoption

Meat and Livestock Australia

Market and Consumer Insights to Drive Food Value Chain Innovation and Growth

Meat and Livestock Australia

Fast-tracking and maximising the long-lasting benefits of weed biological control for farm productivity

Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation

Consolidating targeted and practical extension services for Australian Farmers and Fishers (The foundation to address Priority 4a)

Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation

Improved Use of Seasonal Forecasting to Increase Farmer Profitability

Sugar Research Australia

A profitable future for Australian agriculture: Biorefineries for higher-value animal feeds, chemicals and fuels

It is anticipated that applications for Round 2 will open in the coming months.

The Rural R&D for Profit programme aims to realise productivity and profitability improvements for primary producers through:

  • Generating knowledge, technologies, products or processes that benefit primary producers
  • Strengthening pathways to extend the results of rural R&D, including understanding the barriers to adoption
  • Establishing and fostering industry and research collaborations that form the basis for ongoing innovation and growth of Australian agriculture.

RDCs exist across 15 agriculture, fishery and forestry industries to facilitate and fund practical research into improvements to primary production or processing activities that benefit the industry and improve Australia’s competitiveness and sustainability.

The initiative will operate over four financial years, from 2014-15 to 2017-18.

If you have a research project in mind, this new Rural R&D for Profit initiative may be suitable for you.

Additionally, state and federal governments provide a number of other government assistance programs to assist businesses who are taking on new employees or expanding their plant and equipment capabilities.

Food Source Victoria Fund

On a smaller scale, Victorian farmers may want to consider a new grant scheme opening in July that could support both business operations and personal development as a business leader.

This fund is designed to encourage collaboration and partnerships within the industry, and aims to support major projects, create jobs, and build stronger regional communities.

There are two funding streams available with a total funding pool of $18 million:

  • Grants of between $5,000 for planning and up to $250,000 for projects are available. This is for regional agri-food alliances and value chain partnerships to increase exports and create jobs by implementing business development, training, supply chain and market development initiatives
  • Scholarships Program with a total of $2 million available for professionals seeking further training or study. There is a special commitment (at least half the funds) dedicated to supporting women’s contributions to the food and fibre sector.
Author

Danica Sekulovska
Partner | Tax

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