$100m grant program for Rural RDCs announced

Beef Central, 14/10/2014

The Abbott Government has this morning announced a new $100 million grant program for Rural Research and Development Corporations.

After calling for increased funding for agricultural research, development and extension (RD&E) in the lead up to the last year’s federal election, the National Farmers Federation has welcomed today’s initiative, saying it will help to improve the productivity and profitability of Australian farm business.

The $100m program is aimed at encouraging more industry and research collaborations, federal agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce said.

Under the program, all 15 RDCs can apply for funding.

However to be eligible, RDCs must partner with one or more researchers, research agencies, funding bodies, businesses, producer groups, or not-for-profit organisations, and provide a contribution (cash or cash/in-kind) at least equal to the requested Commonwealth grant funding.

Minister Joyce said the Rural R&D for Profit program will fund nationally coordinated, strategic research “that delivers real returns at the farmgate”.

“R&D makes a very significant contribution to growth in agricultural productivity,” he said during the program’s launch at the University of New England this morning.

“This program provides grants for collaborative research that will lead to better returns for producers and support continued innovation across Australian agriculture.

“Rural R&D for Profit will focus on delivering cutting edge technologies and making research accessible for primary producers, while better leveraging coordination and cooperation between stakeholders.”

He said the program would encourage industry, researchers and private organisations to think outside the box and develop new collaborations that form the basis for ongoing innovation and growth of Australian agriculture and achieve demonstrable benefits for our primary industries.

In round one, applications must address one or more priorities in the following research, development and extension areas:

• increase the profitability and productivity of primary industries

• increase the value of primary products

• strengthen on-farm adoption and improve information flows

• strengthen primary producers’ ability to adapt to opportunities and threats.

“There are a range of issues in Australian agriculture that could be managed through this process, such as improvements to wild dog control, better techniques to control parthenium and blackberry control using pathogens.” Minister Joyce said.

NFF president Brent Finlay said the injection of funds will go towards core research and improving extension services to farmers across Australia.

With little growth in public investment in Australia’s since the 1970s, the rural sector was facing slowing productivity growth.

Mr Finlay said research had indicated that for every $1 spent in R&D, $11 was returned.

There was no better time than now for the Federal Government to roll out the new $100m package, he said.

“Farmers need to have adequate information on the latest research relevant to their farm businesses,” Mr Finlay said.

“The latest research and development encourages the advancement of Australian agriculture, driving innovation, further uptake in emerging technologies and cutting-edge business models and farm practices.

“Collaboration between the Rural Development Corporations (RDCs) and other research bodies is essential. The NFF anticipates this collaboration will enable a greater level of private investment into agricultural R&D – ensuring there is optimum value from government investment.

“Importantly, this investment must focus on improving profit inside the farm gate – a key priority for the NFF and Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce.”

Applications for the first round must be received by the Department of Agriculture by 11.59pm (AEST) on 15 December 2014. For more information about the Rural R&D for Profit programme visit the website at

The 15 Rural RDCs are:

  • Meat & Livestock Australia
  • Livecorp
  • Australian Meat Processor Corporation
  • Australian Wool Innovation
  • Dairy Australia
  • Australian Pork Limited
  • Australian Egg Corporation Ltd
  • Horticulture Australia Ltd
  • Rural Industries Research Development Corporation
  • Cotton Research and Development Corporation
  • Grains Research and Development Corporation
  • Sugar Research and Development Corporation
  • Grape and Wine Research Development Corporation
  • Forest and Wood Products Australia
  • Fisheries Research and Development Corporation


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