Backing Australian farmers through Round 1 of the On Farm Connectivity Program

Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator the Hon Murray Watt

The Albanese Government is backing the nation’s farmers and primary producers through the now completed Round 1 of the On Farm Connectivity Program (OFCP), with more than $15 million worth of grant applications received to support ag-tech connectivity solutions.

The $30 million program provides rebates of up to 50 per cent for eligible equipment – worth up to $30,000 – through eligible suppliers. Discounted technologies are also offered through approved suppliers.

The program is extending data coverage further onto properties, allowing for greater connection and reliability of machinery and sensor technology.

Ag-tech assists primary producers to optimise soil quality and nutrient levels, monitor livestock, improve efficiency of water use and streamline farm logistics, as well as enhancing on-farm safety and helping safeguard farming equipment, livestock and fuel supplies.

Equipment funded through the OFCP includes:

  • Near Katherine, in the Northern Territory, pastoralists Trudi Oxley and Paul Thomson are integrating an automated and portable cattle weighing system, providing real-time data on the condition of their cattle which is saving significant time and money on helicopter musters.
  • In far-west Queensland, farmers Barbara and Mark Mason – who manage Mirage Plains, more than 52,000 hectares south of Cunnamulla – have utilised the On Farm Connectivity Program to boost their water infrastructure capabilities in an area with poor connectivity.

With Round 1 of the OFCP now closed, producers and equipment suppliers should keep an eye out for Round 2 which will launch later this year.

The OFCP is part of the Government’s $1.1 billion Better Connectivity Plan which is improving mobile and broadband connectivity and resilience in communities across Australia.

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