Supporting food sustainability in the Indian Ocean Territories

The Australian Government is prioritising the future sustainability of the Indian Ocean Territories (IOT) with almost $450,000 in funding for three exciting projects across Christmas Island (CI) and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands (CKI) under the Innovative Agricultural Trials grants program.

The projects funded under this program explore ways to support locally grown fresh and affordable produce, while building important skills and knowledge in sustainable agricultural, aquaculture and farming techniques.

Following the recent application period, Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories Kirsty McBain is pleased to announce the following grants:

  • $150,000 to the Cocos Islands Co-operative Society Ltd – to develop a hydroponics facility on CKI, with the aim of supplying 100% of CKI’s requirement for targeted leafy green crops.
  • $150,000 to Phosphate Resources Ltd – to establish a Climate Controlled Container system on CI to trial solutions for remote locations with depleted soils and harsh climatic conditions.
  • $144,000 to The Trustee For Lacy Flores Family Trust – to establish a high-density vertical hydroponics facility on CKI able to produce a minimum of 200kg of fresh produce every week.

The projects will reduce the communities’ reliance on importing fresh produce at high prices, support greater self-sufficiency and will build key skills for future employment and business opportunities.

“Funding these projects will support the IOT communities to explore new ways to grow fresh local produce, reducing the need to import fresh produce at much higher prices,” Minister McBain said.

“Building skills and creating future employment and business opportunities for the IOT are among our Government’s main priorities for region, as we work together to support food security and self-sufficiency across the islands.

“The responses received to the Innovative Agricultural Trials for the IOT show an exciting road ahead for the region, signaling potential job creation, new industry and development of a sustainable approach to local agriculture and farming for the future.”

The Government will continue to keep the community updated as these innovative projects come to life.