Indian Ocean Territories Innovative Agricultural Grants program now open

I am pleased to announce the Innovative Agricultural Grants program for the Indian Ocean Territories (IOT) is now open for applications.

This niche grants program is part of the Australian Government’s Budget investment to support the IOT communities to diversify the Christmas Island (CI) and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands (CKI) economies.

The program aims to reduce the reliance on imports of fresh produce, delivering greater self‑sufficiency and food security for CI and CKI. The program supports the trialing of niche agricultural crops and techniques in the region.

The Innovative Agricultural Grants program will be run through the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources Grants Hub. Under the program, eligible organisations including businesses, not-for-profits, and the CI and CKI shires proposing relevant activities located on CI or CKI could access grants of up to $150,000.

Potential projects to be supported under the program include establishing agricultural trial sites (such as community gardens or greenhouses), education or training activities, land cultivation for farming and farm maintenance.

While the unique environment of the IOT limits broad-acre agriculture, the growth of a niche agricultural and aquaculture industry in the IOT has the potential to create future entrepreneurial opportunities for participants, supporting future business and investment opportunities in the region.

The funding will be delivered over the 2021-22 and 2022-23 financial years, with all projects to be completed by 30 April 2023.

To be eligible, all applicants must have an Australian Business Number (ABN), and be one of the accepted organisations, a full list of which can be found on the GrantConnect website, along with the Guidelines for the Grants Program here: https://business.gov.au/grants-and-programs/innovative-agricultural-trials-in-indian-ocean-territories

The closing date for applications is 5:00pm AEDT (1:00pm Christmas Island time, 12.30pm Cocos (Keeling) Islands time) on 31 March 2022.