Sustainable farming efforts are being boosted thanks to the Nationals in Government with more support on offer under the latest round of the $43.5 million Smart Farms Small Grants program.

This program is developing and extending new tools and technologies to help farmers and regional communities adopt best practice land management.

Nationals Deputy Leader and Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said 113 projects will share in more than $5 million to equip farmers with new skills and knowledge to improve sustainability and their bottom line.

“Our farmers have always looked after the land and we are giving them a helping hand to adopt best practice natural resource management methods,” Mr Littleproud said.

“It is a critical time for agriculture which is poised to lead Australia’s recovery out of COVID-19.

“This funding will improve the resilience and productive capacity of farms but will also have an immediate effect of stimulating local economies and bringing people together, when the time is right.

“Locals know best and that’s why we’re supporting them in activities such as rolling out projects to improve soil health and demonstrating how new technology, such as drones, can help farming businesses.

“Smart Farms Small Grants is part of the second phase of the National Landcare program, a $1.1 billion Government commitment to natural resource management.”

Mr Littleproud said the successful recipients will receive grants of up to $50,000. The recipients of the grants include Landcare, farming businesses, farm systems groups, community groups and indigenous organisations.

Other projects address a range of issues facing primary producers, including pest control, vegetation management (including trees for shade, shelter belts and wildlife corridors), farm input efficiency, soil health, climate and market management and the use of new technologies.

“There is a strong emphasis on knowledge building,” Mr Littleproud said

“There are also projects that adopt high-tech innovations such as a best practice tool for reducing catastrophic fire risk in sustainable farming systems.

“By investing in clever farming ideas such as these, we are helping to ensure Australian Agriculture’s success story continues.”

For more information about Smart Farms Small Grants click here: agriculture.gov.au.