Incentives to help drive innovation and growth in the agricultural sector
The agricultural sector is well positioned to maximise opportunities for government funding, particularly with the Government’s focus on regional job creation and economic growth. This Agribusiness Bulletin looks at relevant government assistance programs of potential interest to the sector.
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Investment and innovation incentives for the agricultural sector
Australian State and Federal governments offer substantial assistance programs to businesses in a wide range of areas. These programs amount to around $9 billion annually and can involve the provision of tax incentives, cash grants or concessional loans to successful applicants. Current government assistance programs tend to target projects in the areas of collaboration, business improvement, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency, and technical research and development.
The agricultural sector is well positioned to maximise opportunities for government funding, particularly with both State and Federal Government’s strong focus on regional job creation and economic growth. A number of relevant government assistance programs of potential interest to the sector are outlined briefly below.
Farming Together Program
The Federal Government has made available $15 million to assist farmers under the Farm Co-Operatives and Collaboration Pilot Program, now known as the Farming Together Program.
This program aims to provide farmers (large and small) the opportunity to collaborate to increase their farm gate returns and address market power issues via specifically directed funding and consulting advice.
As an approved panel member to the program, Deloitte has already provided initial consulting advice to more than 15 agribusiness groups or entities, ranging from fledgling to well-established, medium sized businesses, to progress their funding applications via business and strategic planning advice, feasibility study support, group negotiation and collaboration guidance, and international market opportunity identification.
Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF)
The Federal Government’s BBRF provides up to $10 million in matched funding for projects based in regional Australia that involve the construction, extension, or enhancement of infrastructure that generates new economic activity and provides social benefits for regional communities. Previous rounds of the NSRF have seen successful projects such as abattoirs and infrastructure that enhances trade and market access.
Projects eligible for BBRF funding could range from pastoral-related infrastructure (such as sale yards) to smart agriculture projects such as high tech irrigation. In recent years, investment projects relating to the enhancement of transport networks (such as freight hubs) have also received strong support from governments as a result of their broad economic impacts and multiple beneficiaries.
Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF)
NAIF is a Federal Government initiative to incentivise investment in the Northern Territory and parts of Queensland and Western Australia north of the Tropic of Capricorn. The $5 billion concessional loan facility supports large multi-user, economic infrastructure in, or for the benefit of, Northern Australia.
National Science and Innovation Agenda
With the strong focus on the National Science and Innovation Agenda, governments are also looking at incentivising innovation and the adoption of new technologies to drive productivity growth and increase the global competitiveness of Australian business.
Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P)
Government assistance opportunities such as CRC-P aim to support research, commercialisation and education activities. The CRC-P encourages collaboration between business and publically-funded research organisations and provides up to $3 million in matched funding to support short term, industry-led collaborative research.
How we can help
Targeted government assistance can provide a key competitive edge for business, lowering the cost of infrastructure and innovation investments. Through well-developed government relationships, combined with current knowledge of political developments and robust strategies, government funding can accelerate the adoption of smart, resilient, and sustainable farming practices.
If you would like further information or assistance on these programs, or any other government assistance available, please reach out to us.
Senior Analyst, Tax