Grants for producer groups to boost on-farm technology adoption
Applications are now open for an exciting new Producer Technology Uptake Program. AgriFutures Australia will work with grassroots producer groups, servicing farmers, fishers and foresters to deliver a practical program to increase producer confidence, know-how and ambition to adopt technology in their businesses.
AgriFutures Australia is delivering this national pilot program over 12 months in partnership with established producer groups. Eligible groups are encouraged to apply for grants of up to $20,000 to deliver a bespoke technology uptake program which will include a producer workshop, as well as other activities identified by the group, to introduce technology solutions and kick start technology adoption across their member base.
Grants are available to Australian farming, fisheries and/or forestry producer groups, who know and understand the producer needs in their region and can help them overcome known barriers to adoption, including digital literacy, lack of understanding on the potential return on investment, and overall appetite for technology.
AgriFutures Australia senior manager, Rural Futures, Jennifer Medway said this new program will give producers a practical pathway to evaluate the role and value of new technology in their farming operations.
“Working with producer groups who can tailor opportunities to best meet the needs of local producers makes perfect sense. Eligible activities could be anything from trialing new technologies in the local environment, getting out on-farm or at sea to test new equipment, or seeking the knowledge of experts to assess the return on investment and demystify how to use particular technologies,” said Ms Medway.
“Technology is increasingly part of the future of farm, fish and forestry businesses and we need to ensure those with an interest in technology can easily navigate the adoption journey."
As part the grant program, producer groups will automatically get access to a centrally-designed and facilitated workshop to deliver at the local level. The workshops are tailored to the needs of each producer group and designed to deliver practical information, decision-making tools and resources.
Ms Medway said producers will walk away from the workshops with a personalised farm technology plan, including relevant solutions to their farming system and importantly, steps to implementation.
“Few producers identify themselves as ‘technology adopters’, yet they may be using GPS-guided machinery, smart phones to engage in markets, or sensors and other tools to track and measure performance and own sophisticated farm-management software.”
“Tech solutions can optimise the use of inputs, speed up decision making, create labour savings and improve market access, there are big benefits to be gained for farm businesses. It’s an exciting time for Australian agriculture and we want producer groups to be at the forefront of the adoption journey, supporting their members to unlock technology potential in their farming operation.”
To be eligible for the AgriFutures Australia Producer Technology Uptake Program, you must:
- Be based in Australia and have a registered ABN
- Be a producer group, representing producer members (farmers, fishers and/ or foresters)
- Have a group with at least 10 producers committed to attending a training workshop
- Have experience in managing grants, including financial and reporting systems
- Be able to demonstrate that participation in the program will genuinely benefit producers in your group.