Agricultural Development Fund
The first funding round of the Agricultural Development Fund opened on Friday 30 July 2021 and closed on Friday 10 September 2021. The Tasmanian Government is continuing to invest in industry-driven agricultural research to address emerging opportunities and issues likely to have a direct impact on Tasmanian Agriculture through its $3 million Agricultural Development Fund (ADF).
The ADF supports projects that demonstrate active partnerships with industry that have a clear pathway to deliver research outcomes directly to Tasmania’s farmers as well as contributing to sustainable growth and jobs in agriculture.
Three successful projects were announced on 9 June 2022.
- Reuse and recycling of hydroponic substrate to enable the growth of high value agricultural production in Tasmania (Fruit Growers Tasmania, RMCG, Costa Exchange, Hillwood Berries, Tasmanian Berries, Hills Transplants)
This project will reduce reliance on imports of coir, an important substrate for horticultural industries, by evaluating the re-use of spent coir and experimenting with local agricultural by-products. This will help to promote a robust circular economy for Tasmanian agricultural businesses.
- Optimising calf raising for dairy beef production in Tasmania (Pinion Advisory, TasCor Agri)
This project will determine the best approach for raising surplus dairy calves for dairy beef production. It will examine different rearing methods to meet processor requirements and will also study the financial cost-benefit of dairy beef production and impacts on animal health and welfare.
- Development of the hoverfly, Eristalis tenax, as a complementary managed pollinator for Tasmanian cropping systems (SeedPurity, Bejo Australia, South Pacific Seeds, Tasmanian Pollination Services)
This project will develop commercial rearing and deployment protocols for hoverflies (Eristalis tenax) as a complementary pollinator for pollination-limited crops. This will help future-proof Tasmanian industries by diversifying managed pollinators, drive industry expansion, improve yields and profitability in some crops, and provide a greater understanding of conditions promoting pollinator retention in crops.
A fourth successful project was announced as part of the first funding round on 8 July 2022.
- Production of an Asparagopsis pellet that will be suitable for farmers to integrate into their feeding systems (Sea Forest, Tasmanian Stockfeed Services, Fonterra, Kingston Farm, Annadale Farm, Tas Ag Co, Analytical Services Tasmania).
This project will seek to develop a commercial formulation for a seaweed-based feed supplement that can be fed to cattle and sheep to reduce their methane emissions and deliver productivity gains.
About the Agricultural Development Fund
The Agricultural Development Fund (ADF) provides $3 million in funding towards projects that demonstrate strong support and active partnership from industry, and a clear strategy to deliver on-farm impacts and contribute to sustainable growth and jobs in agriculture.
The remaining funds in the Agricultural Innovation Fund (AIF) will also be allocated through the ADF grant funding round so that there is a single application and assessment process. Up to $3 million will be available through the opening grant round.
As a guide, proponents may seek up to $1 million from the ADF for suitable projects that can be undertaken within a three-year timeframe.
Preference will be given to funding for:
Climate-responsive agriculture: projects that help producers to reduce emissions and adapt to and prepare for the impacts of climate change;
Biosecurity and risk mitigation: projects that assist agribusiness to identify, plan for and manage biosecurity risks;
Digital transformation: projects that help industry address digital skill gaps and improve productivity; and
Rapid response: projects that respond rapidly to threats in order to minimise adverse impacts on the sector.
The Tasmanian Government is committed to supporting RD&E that delivers on-farm benefits. For this reason, applications for ADF funding should include a clear strategy for how the RD&E will deliver farm-level impacts that benefit Tasmanian farmers and contribute to sustainable growth and jobs in agriculture. Applications should also demonstrate strong support from and engagement with industry.