Innovation grants awarded to farmers improving water use and efficiency

Innovation grants awarded to farmers improving water use and efficiency

Three Western Australian (WA) farmers committed to enhancing water use and efficiency have received grants of over $22,000 under the Grower Group Alliance’s (GGA) Emerge Program initiative.

CSIRO funded and co-designed the Emergy Program initiative as part of its Drought Resilience Mission.

The pilot round has brought together beneficiaries, GGA, CSIRO, AgTech consultants, and entrepreneurs. The cohort has previously investigated research, industry, and customer concerns and solutions, as well as avenues for farmers to enter the world of innovation. 

The Program aims to assist WA farmers and the agri-food sector in adapting to hotter, more variable climates and enhancing resilience to frequent droughts and dry periods by fostering a pathway into the innovation ecosystem.

According to GGA CEO Rikki Foss, the program was timely as growers across WA are already grappling with the increasing challenges of climate variability.

“This program empowers those who are affected to bring their ideas to the forefront and be part of the solution for all WA growers,” Foss said.

GGA Innovation Manager Dr Jo Wisdom expressed her delight at the diverse projects being explored in the pilot round of the Program.

“Growers solving the problems that matter to them is the defining factor of this program,” Dr Wisdom said.

Jay Elliott and Ben Johnston have been awarded funding to create a product to aid farmers in drier years in livestock and viticulture.

Meanwhile, Nyabing grower Ben Hobley received funding to explore a farming method to enhance yield and quality in hotter, drier seasons.

CSIRO Drought Resilience Mission Dr Graham Bonnett stated that the program aims to attract early-stage innovators.

“The program aims to guide and mentor farmers as their ideas are progressed,” Dr Bonnett said.

Mentorship with experts will begin in the following weeks. Emerging innovators will then be able to submit input to CSIRO and GGA to help shape future rounds of the Program.

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