Delivered by AgriFutures Australia, the Uptake Program aims to increase producer confidence, know-how and ambition to adopt technology in their businesses.
The Program will be run 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 ranging 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 doption including digital literacy.
AgriFutures Australia senior manager, Rural Futures, Jennifer Medway said the 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," Medway said.
"Eligible activities could be anything from trialling 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," she said.
"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.
Medway said producers will walk away from the workshops with a personalised farm technology plan, including relevant solutions to their farming systems and importantly, steps to implementation.
"Few producers identify themselves as ‘technology adopters', yet they may be using GPS-guided tractors, smart phones to engage in livestock markets, or sensors and other tools to track and measure paddock performance and own sophisticated farm-management software."
To be eligible for the AgriFutures Australia Producer Technology Uptake Program, you must be based in Australia, be a producer group, representing producer members (farmers, fishers and/ or foresters), have a registered ABN, have a group with at least 10 producers committed to attending a training workshop and have experience in managing grants, including financial and reporting systems.
Applicants must also be able to demonstrate that participation in the program will genuinely benefit producers in your group.
To find out more about this program, including application guidelines, visit: https://www.agrifutures.com.au/national-rural-issues/producer-technology-uptake-program/
Applications close Thursday, 22 April and are to be submitted via the smartygrants website.