Producer Technology Uptake Program

Fast-tracking on-farm and on-boat technology adoption is the aim of AgriFutures Australia’s Producer Technology Uptake Program. Applications for Round 2 are now open.

Building on the success of the 2021 pilot, AgriFutures Australia is again offering producer groups who represent farmers, fishers and foresters, funding to deliver a bespoke capacity development program to support their members to adopt technology solutions within their business.

The program is designed to work with existing producer networks, who know and understand the needs of producers in their region as well as producer maturity in terms of digital literacy and capacity for technology uptake.

Grants of up to $20,000 are available through a competitive selection process, to deliver activities that specifically address known barriers to technology adoption identified by the group. A wide range of activities are eligible, and programs are to be delivered over 12 months. In addition to having access to the grant, successful groups will also have access to an online resource hub and capacity building workshop to support producers in their group to start or continue their technology adoption journey.

This is a national program and projects are to be completed over a twelve-month period. AgriFutures Australia will work closely with successful groups to support the roll out of program activities. A key part of the program is to leverage learnings across groups and ensure there is peer-to-peer learning across producers.

Round 2 of the Producer Technology Uptake Program is currently open, with applications being accepted for activities to start in either December 2021 or April 2022.

Applications close 12pm AEDT 10th November 2021. 

Who is the program targeting?

The program targets producers that are interested and willing to innovate and adopt technology, but may lack the knowledge, skills or experience to achieve it.

We know that there are a range of barriers to on-farm technology adoption, including:

  • producers overwhelmed with options
  • lack of local support or advisory services
  • lack of individual skills or knowledge around technology and its application
  • the value proposition or return on investment is not clear, and
  • integration of technology across multiple systems, eg. software applications.

The program targets producers who may not have kicked off plans to adopt technology in their business but want to overcome some of these barriers to begin.

The program is not designed for “early” technology adopters, ie. those that have developed skills and are already well established technology users, but it is an asset to have their input as part of the program.

What is a producer group?

We recognise that the definition of ‘producer group’ can be wide and varied, so we have provided some guidance below. If you’re still unsure if your group meets the criteria, reach out to us at programs@agrifutures.com.au

  • Existing groups that currently deliver capacity building and on-farm extension activities, e.g. Farming systems groups, grower groups etc
  • Agribusinesses who have formed groups around their client base and can deliver technology adoption activities, e.g. agronomists, benchmarking groups
  • Landcare groups that deliver on-ground producer training and extension opportunities with an interest in producer technology adoption.
  • An industry group/association/organisation with a pre-existing extension arm that undertakes research and extension activities with producers.

Groups will be required to demonstrate their experience and capacity to deliver their proposed program. If you have any questions about your group’s eligibility for this program, please contact programs@agrifutures.com.au

Is my group eligible

If you answer ‘yes’ to the following criteria, then you are eligible to apply.

  • Is your group based in Australia?
  • Does your group* represent producer members (farmers, fishers or foresters)?
  • Are you currently registered with an ABN?
  • Does your group have at least 10 producers committed to participating in the program?
  • Does your group have experience in managing grants, including financial and reporting systems?
  • Would participation in the program genuinely benefit producers in your group?

*As defined under ‘what is a producer group’. If you have any questions about your groups’ eligibility, please reach out to us at programs@agrifutures.com.au

To ensure funding reaches as many groups as possible to support on-ground technology adoption, producer groups that have previously received funding under AgriFutures Australia’s Producer Technology Uptake Program will not be eligible to apply for Round 2.

How many groups will be accepted into the program?

For Round 2 of the Producer Technology Uptake Program, up to 40 groups will be accepted into the program, with activities to commence in either December 2021 or April 2022, as nominated in the groups’ application.

What will the program deliver?

The pilot program is focused on delivering practical support, knowledge and capacity, to farmers, fishers and foresters, to adopt technology solutions in their business. The program will achieve this through three deliverables:

Online information hub: 

  • Access to an online hub of information specifically designed for producers who want to get involved in technology adoption but do not know where to start. The hub aims to demystify the language around technology adoption and provide helpful tools and resources to start producers on their agtech adoption journey.
  • The hub will also feature case studies, tools, guides and links to useful information.

Producer technology workshops: 

  • Successful grant recipients will have access to a bespoke Producer Technology Adoption workshop to be delivered by trained experts, experienced in working with farmers to plan their technology needs and develop practical steps to implementation.
  • Groups will have the opportunity to tailor content to their specific level of maturity and identified need. The workshops are an essential part of the grant, more information can be found in the program guidelines.

Producer group grants: 

  • Eligible producer groups can apply for up to $20,000 to build a practical technology uptake program targeting producers. Successful grant recipients will get access to the workshops automatically.
  • Grants are available to develop tailored opportunities to complement the workshop, encourage ongoing implementation and ensure that activity doesn’t end at the completion of the workshop.
  • Further detail on what can and cannot be funded, can be found in the program guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions

A list of frequently asked questions and answers can be found here. Can’t find what you’re looking for, reach out to us at programs@agrifutures.com.au

Timeframe for delivery

Program activities for Round 2 will commence in December 2021, however applying groups can nominate a start month of either December 2021 or April 2022 based on the availability of their members to participate. Projects are expected to run for no more than 12 months.

Current participants

To learn more about current participants, click the blue icons on the map below.

2021 Producer Technology Uptake Program: Producer group grant recipients
Producer Group Project
Upper North Farming Systems Incorporating digital farming for improved productivity in the Upper North of South Australia
Monaro Farming Systems Practical technology uptake on The Monaro – hosting a regional agricultural technology symposium
Riverine Plains Inc Innovation uptake program
Griffith and District Citrus Growers Association Skills and knowledge development of advanced telemetry enabled digital irrigation monitoring technologies
Stirlings to Coast Farmers Inc Improving farm water use efficiency – digital technology implementation and training to improve overall on-farm productivity and improve farm water-use efficiencies
Fruit Growers Victoria Fruit Tech 2021
Macquarie Cotton Growers Association Digitally enabled cotton farms – back to basics
Australian Native Food Industry Limited Building technology adoption capability in the native ag and food sector
South Australian Growers Ltd Intensive horticulture advanced technology outreach and adoption program
Food and Agribusiness Network Limited FAN agtech farm trail
Woorak farming community group Soil moisture sensor network in the medium/low rainfall environment in the Northern Wimmera
Western Australian Pork Producers Association (Inc) Data Pig™ implementation pilot program
Southern Growers Incorporated Encouraging adoption of cost efficient, accurate moisture monitoring in the irrigated farming system
West Midlands Group Clarifying the value proposition for farmers when considering variable rate (VR) fertiliser application to improve uptake of variable rate technology
Sunraysia Citrus Growers Skills and knowledge development of advanced digital irrigation telemetry monitoring technologies
Australian Tea Tree Industry Association Members Evaluating a remote sensing ‘Time Series’ approach for monitoring seasonal variability in tree health and yield forecasting in tea tree
Victorian Strawberry Growers Association Inc Agtech workshops and adoption strategy
Macintyre Ag Alliance Getting connected with LoRaWAN
Viticulture Society of the Canberra District Incorporated Association Digital viticulture technology for the Canberra Wine District
Buckleboo Farm Improvement Group Incorporated Enabling farmers to understand and utilise useful agtech developments

 

 

Contact

Ulicia Raufers

Manager, Innovation

programs@agrifutures.com.au

 

 

 

Resources

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