Future Drought Fund
Drought Resilience Farming Practices
With a single funding round and a large amount of funding on offer, we here at Ryan recommend agricultural businesses explore the Future Drought Fund. Today, we bring you more information on this program, it’s requirements, and what it offers.
THE FUTURE DROUGHT PROGRAM
The $5 billion Future Drought Fund provides secure, continuous funding for drought resilience initiatives. It will help Australian farms and communities prepare for the impacts of drought. The Future Drought Fund launched its first programs on the 1st of July 2020 to build resilience to future droughts, and are slated to continue through to 2024.
The program has several main points of focus:
- Harnessing Innovation
- Better Risk Management
- Better Climate Information
- More resilient communities
- Better land management
Successful projects must be carried out between June 2023 and June 2025.
TCF recommends applicants consider applying for the Drought Resilience Farming Program which is a segment of the Future Drought Fund.
WHAT IS THE DROUGHT RESILIENCE FARMING PROGRAM?
The objective of the program is to fund activities that support adoption of proven and existing Australian and/or internationally generated research and development (R&D) practices and technology that:
- Reduce the impacts of drought on agricultural productivity and/or enable a quicker recovery of farmers and their lands from drought
- Have potential to be adopted at a large scale (either across multiple farms, a farming system, landscapes, regions or industries)
- Can demonstrate public benefits.
FUNDING & TIMELINE
- Grant amount: $100,000 to $3,000,000 per application for projects up to 24 months
- Application opened: 11 November 2022
- Application closes: 9 January 2023
- Earliest start date of grant activity: June 2023
- Latest end date of grant activity: June 2025
Applicants will be required to contribute funding (co-contribution/s) to the delivery of the project.
WHO CAN APPLY?
Grants are open to public and private sector organisations that have applied expertise in clean technology innovation. Each organisation can submit a maximum of 3 Expressions of interest per grant round.
Eligible applicants must be either a(n):
- Indigenous Corporation
- Corporate Commonwealth Entity
- Non-Corporate Commonwealth Statutory Authority
- Corporate State or Territory Entity
- Non-corporate State or Territory Statutory Authority
- Local Government Entity
- Incorporated Association
- Statutory Entity
See below linked guidelines for additional information
WHAT TYPES OF PROJECTS ARE ELIGIBLE?
The Future Drought fund is interested in projects that drive adoption of proven and existing drought resilience practices and technologies at large scales, including those that:
- improve the growth of crops, including crop management and crop rotation, during and following times of drought
- improve pasture and soil health including the management of livestock, crops or using alternative crops that regenerate soil between seeding/while in drought
- map farmland, in particular mapping land health
- support supply chain continuity
- draw from, and share benefits with, Indigenous or culturally diverse people and communities.
Grant funding can be used toward:
- purchase (or hire or lease) of equipment and materials to support eligible project activities, for example: building materials, ICT cabling, infrastructure (for example fences), fixed furniture, landscaping
- salaries and on-costs for personnel directly employed in delivering the project activities (this should be calculated on a pro-rata basis relative to their time commitment). This excludes project management or project co-ordination costs which are covered under administrative support below
- staff training that directly supports the achievement of project outcomes (maximum 5% GST exclusive of the grant)
- rental of land for demonstrations
- contract expenditure, the cost of any agreed project activities that you contract to others directly relating to the program objectives
- workshops and conferences, including venue hire, catering and networking costs
- community events, including field days, exhibitions and cultural heritage events
- domestic travel, limited to transport, accommodation, meals and incidental costs as per the Australian Public Service Travel Allowance Rate required to conduct the agreed activities
- international travel as agreed in the project proposal, limited to transport, accommodation, meals and incidental costs as per the Australian Public Service Travel Allowance Rate, required to conduct the agreed activities (only applicable where international practices and technologies are promoted)
- the total cost of both domestic and international travel must be limited to a maximum 10% GST exclusive of the grant
- administrative support and overheads additional to the normal day to day running costs of the organisation, including project management or project co-ordination (maximum 10% GST exclusive of the grant)
- costs you incur in order to obtain planning, environmental or other regulatory approvals during the project period. However, associated fees paid to the Commonwealth, state, territory and local governments are not eligible
- direct costs related to the involvement of an international organisation in your consortium. Any costs that related to an international organisation are required to be identified in the budget
- small-scale infrastructure that is clearly justified by public benefits and is required specifically for project activities. Generally speaking, the presumption is against funding for infrastructure, unless it is a necessary input to support on-ground land management practices that are being demonstrated. For example, the construction of essential fencing where the project is taking place or a small shed to store equipment related to the project
- financial auditing of project expenditure
- reporting on project outcomes including the development of a Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) plan for the project (maximum 5% GST exclusive of the grant), see section 12.7.
Applications will be assessed based on 4 eligibility criterions:
- Relevance of the project to the drought resilience of Australian agriculture
- Methodology and Scalability
- Demonstrate value for money
- Capability to deliver the project
Contact us for assistance
For tips on the Future Drought Fund
Give us a call or schedule an assessment
- Scope your potential to claim various grant programs
- Assist with the preparation and lodgement of grant applications
- Review or provide a health check on your internally prepared grant applications
- Establish record-keeping practices as required under various grant programs
- Provide prepayment loans against future cash refunds under the R&D Tax Incentive
- Keeping industry informed on all new Government policy and grant initiatives