The Digital Agriculture Investment Scheme funded by the Victorian Government is currently open to applications.
Grants from $5,000 to $50,000 (ex GST) are available with at least a 50% co-contribution to assist farm businesses invest in eligible on-farm digital technology projects (Eligible Projects) to improve productivity, resilience and the long-term viability of Victorian farms.
The Victorian Government is working to ensure that Victorian farmers are at the forefront of the digital revolution in agriculture. This program follows the launch of the Agriculture Strategy, and Smarter Safer Farms initiative to create a Victorian agriculture sector that is strong, innovative and sustainable.
Grants are available from the date the Scheme opens on 23 June 2021 until program funds are fully allocated or the closing date of 31 October 2021, whichever is sooner.
Please review the full Program Eligibility Criteria and list of Eligible Projects outlined in the Program Guidelines before you apply.
Only one grant will be offered per farm business (ABN). To be eligible for assistance under this Scheme, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:
- Be a Victorian based commercial farm business with an average annual primary production turnover of $50,000 or more
- Be a farm business focused on ‘Primary Production’ as defined in the Program Guidelines
- Hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) that is registered for GST
- Be a legal entity registered as a sole trader, trust or private company
- Install the project/s on agricultural land that you own, lease or share farm in Victoria
How does the Digital Agriculture Investment Scheme work, and how do I apply?
- Grants from $5,000 to $50,000 (ex GST) are available for one or more eligible projects undertaken since the commencement of the Scheme on 23 June 2021.
- You can only apply once for the rebate, so all eligible investment costs must be included on your application form.
- Please ensure that your completed application form includes all relevant supporting documents including:
- Evidence of farm property location where the works will be installed (eg. rates notice, lease agreement or share farming contract)
- Formal detailed quote/s from a registered supplier identifying eligible project items (email or handwritten quotes and second hand items will not be accepted). Any expenditure incurred prior to receiving approval from Rural Finance will not be reimbursed.
- Latest tax returns for the business/trust/partnership applying (eg. tax returns or BAS statements must demonstrate an average annual primary production turnover of $50,000 or more for the 2019/20 or 2020/21 financial year. If you are a new business please attach a copy of your Business Plan demonstrating how your business will reach commercial scale within the next financial year)
- Rural Finance processes applications in order of submission, and you will be advised of eligibility and if program funds remain available.
- Approved projects must be completed and a claim submitted within 6 months from receiving approval for funding.
- Once the project is completed you will need to submit the following documents to Rural Finance before any rebate can be processed:
- paid tax invoices and receipts and a copy of bank statements identifying payment for eligible works
- Photos showing completed installation, and
- Evidence of any certificates eg. electrical certificates, planning and licence approvals if applicable.
To be eligible for assistance applicants must co-contribute 50% of total eligible project costs.
Applications will be considered for digital agriculture technologies that support on-farm productivity and decision making. Eligible Projects are to be one, or a combination, of the following solution types:
- hardware; and/or
- cloud-based application(s); and/or
- software; and/or
- network connectivity; plus
- installation costs for the above.
And fits within one (or more) of the following categories:
- animal health and performance
- asset monitoring and tracking
- business model technologies (e.g. blockchain, customer journey analytics)
- on-farm connectivity and networks (e.g. LoRaWAN / LPWAN / wireless mesh)
- crop forecasting and prediction
- data visualisation / dashboards
- digital technology that helps manage genomics and plant/animal selection
- drones (excluding drone licence fees)
- farm management platforms (including subscription costs if paid upfront)
- feed solutions
- GPS guidance systems for tractors, sprayers, harvesters (can be retrofitted)
- satellite imagery and mapping
- pest, weed and disease management
- robotics and smart machinery / automation
- sensors (e.g. water troughs, fuel tanks)
- smart collars and tags
- smart irrigation and water management
- soil, pasture and plant monitoring
- traceability and provenance
- weather monitoring and forecasting.
For a complete list of Eligible Projects please refer to the Digital Agriculture Investment Scheme Program Guidelines.
If you have any further questions, please contact Rural Finance on 1800 260 425.
Example Project Summary
You can apply for one or more eligible projects and must include a brief description of your proposed project/s along with the benefits to your farm business in the Project Summary section 5 of the application form. An example project summary is provided below for your reference:
My project will address a number of priorities we have for our farm business. In particular we would like to;
- Collect more accurate data on crop growth through the use of satellite imagery, NDVI maps and vigour indexes. This will help our business forecast yield and assess the merits of increasing or decreasing inputs. This subscription will be for 3 years.
- Improve staff safety and site security through the use of a combination of fixed and portable cameras. These would also be complimented through the use of in ground tag magnetic tags that will activate when gateways are opened or when vehicles drive over them.
- Improve our network coverage throughout the property by installing several signal boosters to improve 4G coverage. This network would then be used to transmit data from 5 soil moisture probes & weather stations we will place at strategic locations throughout our farm.
- Accurately monitor stock troughs and tank storage on remote blocks using satellite technology sensors, which will enable us to make informed business decisions.
- Update our GPS guidance and steering units on our air seeder and self-propelled sprayer, to improve on farm efficiency.
AgTech Finder platform - https://agtechfinder.com/
Agriculture Victoria- Victoria's On-Farm Internet of Things Trial: catalogue of apps and devices
AgThentic - Getting AgTech ready: 5 lessons from 5 innovative Australian farmers
KPMG - Agri 4.0 connectivity at our fingertips