Future Drought Fund: $29 million to deliver innovation in drought resilience

Innovative projects to prepare for the impacts of drought will share in $29 million funding through the Australian Government’s $5 billion Future Drought Fund (FDF).

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said the applications for the Drought Resilience Innovation Grants program demonstrated strong interest in harnessing innovation to better prepare for periods of drought.

“We want Australian farmers, and the communities that depend on them, to thrive through future droughts,” Minister Littleproud said.

The grants were split into three categories: ideas grants, proof-of-concept grants, and innovation grants. Ideas grants and proof-of-concept grants are for good ideas that need some further development. Innovation grants are for projects ready to get underway.

“The projects being funded include aerobic rice production, a decision support tool for livestock management including selection, demonstration of different crop rotations, managing dams and determining minimum irrigation requirements for almond trees,” Minister Littleproud said.

“We’re investing in projects that will enable drought-related technologies and tools to be used by farmers and agribusinesses around the country.

“We are also seeing atmospheric water harvested for community drinking water and cultivating drought resilient native crops, such as edible wattle seeds, perennial grasses and wild yams, for use as gluten-free flour and foods.

“These are just some of the innovative ideas with the potential to deliver broad-scale agricultural change.

“Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs across Australia will collaborate with the 22 ideas grant recipients in their regions to help these projects hit the ground running.”

For a full list of projects funded through the Drought Resilience Innovation Grants, visit: https://www.awe.gov.au/agriculture-land/farm-food-drought/drought/future-drought-fund/research-adoption-program/drought-resilience-innovation-grants 

Future Drought Fund:

·     A competitive grants process was run through the Future Drought Fund.

·     Drought Resilience Innovation Grants provide opportunities for drought resilience projects to assist Australian farmers and agricultural-dependent communities and businesses to adopt innovative approaches and technology to improve drought resilience.

·     The $5 billion Future Drought Fund provides secure, continuous funding for drought resilience initiatives, making $100 million available each year.

·     It will help Australian farms and communities prepare for the impacts of drought.