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National Landcare Program – Smart Farms Small Grants


This program aims to support the adoption of best practices that improve the management and quality of the natural resources and increases on-farm productivity. It forms part of the Australian Government's $134 million Smart Farms Program, a component of the sustainable agriculture element of the National Landcare Program (NLP).

The objectives of the program are to:
- Increase land manager’s awareness, knowledge, capability and adoption of tools and management practices that will deliver more productive and profitable agriculture, fishing, aquaculture and farm forestry industries.
- Protect Australia’s biodiversity.
- Protect and improve the condition of natural resources (in particular soils and vegetation).
- Assist Australia to meet its obligations under relevant international treaties.

Funding is available in four tiers:
- Tier 1: Between $5,000 and $50,000 addressing Smart Farms Objective 2 (i.e. land-manager capacity building).
- Tier 2: Between $5,000 and $50,000 addressing Objective 1 (i.e. activities on-farm) or Objectives 1 and 2.
- Tier 3: Between $50,001 and $100,000 addressing Objective 1 or Objectives 1 and 2.
- Tier 4: Between $100,001 and $200,000 addressing Objective 1 or Objectives 1 and 2.

A total funding pool of $55 million is available over six years from 2017-18 to 2022-23.

Who Can Apply?

Eligible applicants include individuals and organisations that are legal entities capable of entering into a legally binding and enforceable agreement with the Commonwealth. This includes:
- Commonwealth company
- Company
- Cooperative
- Corporate Commonwealth entity
- Corporate state or territory entity
- Incorporated association
- Indigenous corporation
- Individual or natural person
- International entity
- Local government
- Non-corporate State or Territory entity or statutory authority
- Partnership
- Sole trader
- Statutory entity
- Trustee on behalf of a trust

In addition, applicants must:
- Have an Australian Business Number (ABN), or be willing to obtain one prior to the execution of the Grant Agreement.
- Be registered for the purposes of GST, or be willing to register prior to the execution of the Grant Agreement.
- Have an account with an Australian financial institution.
- For individuals, be a permanent resident of Australia.
- For international entities, be registered with ASIC to carry on business in Australia.

Applications from consortia are acceptable, as long as they have a lead applicant who is eligible and who will be solely accountable to the Commonwealth for the delivery of grant activities.

Eligible Activities

Eligible projects must:
- Contribute to achieving at least one of the two outcomes:
a) Outcome 1: Doing and fostering sustainable natural resource management best practice.
b) Outcome 2: Capacity building for sustainable natural resource management.
- Be eligible activities.
- Be planned to be completed by 30 September 2021.
- Achieve a public benefit that would not occur without the grant and that is at-least proportional to the amount of the grant.
- Not provide a private benefit that is disproportionately greater than the amount of any private contribution to the project.

Please refer to the Guidelines for the list of eligible project activities.

Main Assessment Criteria

The main assessment criteria include:
- Appropriateness of project objective and project activities
- Effectiveness of project to achieve Small Grants program outcomes
- Project suitability for public funding and value for money
- Applicant suitability

Please refer to the Guidelines for the complete list of the assessment criteria.


The following are ineligible for funding:
- Non-corporate Commonwealth entity or statutory authority.
- Unincorporated association.
- Business-as-usual activities for the participants or beneficiaries of the project.
- Activities that are reasonably considered to be the same as ones which are already underway, or activities that are so closely related that they could not be reasonably considered to be additional to those already underway or completed.
- Research activities and trials of methods that are already well-established best practice for industries or regions relevant to the project.
- Capital expenditure or construction works valued at more than 10% of the grant amount sought.
- Overseas travel.
- Activities outside of Australia (including outside Australia’s maritime zone).
- Activities that have commenced before execution of the grant agreement.
- Costs incurred in the preparation of a grant application or related documentation.

Please refer to the Guidelines for the complete list of restrictions.

  • Start-up
  • Research & Development
  • Marketing
  • Export
  • Business Support
Documentation Uploaded
Guidelines 2018-11-14 Download
FAQs 2018-11-14 Download
Terms and Conditions 2018-11-14 Download
Recipients 2019-04-15 Download

Use these documents as a guide only - always get the latest direct from the Administrator

Add to
Status Pending
Opening Date 13 Nov 2018
Start By Date 28 Dec 2018
Closing Date 11 Jan 2019
Closing Information
This program is available annually. The next funding round is yet to be announced.

Funding Type Grant
Min.Funding $5,000
Max.Funding $200,000
Total Funding Pool $55M
Co-contribution Yes
Competitive Yes
Eligible Activities
Innovation and R&D
Infrastructure / Equipment
Environment and Sustainability
Environment : Other
Gender Any
Age Any
Who Can Apply?
General - Non-Industry Specific
Eligible Organisation Type(s)
Difficulty Rating
Tier Federal
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
Program Administrator
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
General WebsiteVisit
Program Website Visit