Agriculture Resilience and Recovery Program

This program is now closed.

The Agriculture Resilience and Recovery Program is now fully subscribed and closed to new applications.

Rural Finance is competitively assessing submissions in accordance with the Program Guidelines and will advise applicants of the outcome of their application in due course.

Due to the high volume of applications we appreciate your patience.

The Victorian Government acknowledges the ongoing strain of the COVID-19 pandemic on the food supply chain and agricultural workforce.

The new $5.2 million Agriculture Resilience and Recovery Program (the Program) aims to support enduring solutions that address the needs of farm businesses and food processing businesses to prepare for and adapt to future threats to workforce stability and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on its workforce.

The Program provides funding to farm businesses, food processing businesses, local governments, not for profit community organisations, and accommodation providers to provide on-farm infrastructure, accommodation, business upgrades or new facilities, and support services for the agricultural workforce consistent with COVIDSafe standards.

How much can I apply for?

Grants of between $10,000 and $300,000 (GST exc) will be available under three streams:

  1. The Business Resilience and Recovery stream will support eligible farm and food processing businesses to adapt business operations to manage the risk of, or to maintain production through, the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. The Place-based Worker Support stream will support farm and food processing businesses to attract and retain a sustainable workforce, through increased supply and access to COVIDSafe worker accommodation in areas where accommodation shortages are a barrier for jobseekers.
  3. The Training and Education stream will provide enduring support for farm and food processing workers to access information and services and ensure businesses are providing COVIDSafe work practices for workers.

Grants will only be offered for up to 50% of the total project costs (except for applications made by Local Government Authorities and not for profit organisations which may apply for grants to cover the total project costs).

Grants above $300,000 will be considered on a case by case basis in consultation between Rural Finance and Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions and relevant Local Government Authority. 

Who can apply?

To be eligible to apply applicants must be one of the following:

  1. ) They employ staff and have a primary producer or food processing operation located in rural or regional Victoria (i.e., located in one of the local government areas outlined in Appendix 1 of the Program Guidelines) (Eligible Industry Business) (Category One Applicants); or
  2. )They are a:
    1. Local Government Authority;
    2. a not for profit organisation; or
    3. an accommodation provider, seeking funding to be used solely to support an Eligible Industry Business (Category Two Applicants).

Please refer to the attached Program Guidelines for additional application requirements.

How will applications be assessed?

Each application will be assessed against the following criteria (Assessment Criteria):

  • Benefit of the project – e.g. demonstrated importance to the region, demonstrated likely improved resilience for the business against potential COVID-19 impacts, such as permanent availability of workforce accommodation that meets COVIDSafe best practice.
  • Value for money – e.g. financial assistance requested, relevant co-contribution committed, and reasonableness of proposed expenses.
  • Long term benefits – e.g. how the project will deliver benefits over multiple seasons.
  • Need – e.g. demonstrated need for assistance to manage the risk of, maintain production through, or adapt in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, risk of failure/job losses etc.
  • Criticality of the businesses that will benefit from the project to the supply chain.

Decisions on all matters relating to the awarding of grant funding under this Program for grants between $10,000 and $300,000, are at the absolute discretion of Rural Finance. This includes approving a lesser amount than applied for.

How do I apply?

Applications will only be accepted via completion of the Application Form.

Applications can be made until 29th October 2021

Post or email a copy of your completed application form and supporting documents to:

Post: Rural Finance, PO Box 1313, Bendigo Central 3552 or

Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Complete applications are being processed in order of date received, and individual applicants will be advised directly of eligibility and if funds are available.

Further Information:

Please refer to the attached Program guidelines before completing an Application Form. If you have any further questions, please contact Rural Finance on 1800 260 425.

Agriculture Resilience and Recovery Program – non-contestable stream

There is a further $3.3 million under the Agriculture Resilience and Recovery Program (the Program) under a non-contestable stream. This is limited to applicants who have received a letter of offer. For more information on this aspect of the program, including eligibility, please contact Rural Finance on 1800 260 425.