Australia-China ag projects: apply for ACACA funding now

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Shanghai supermarket shoppers: projects and trade missions that encourage agricultural knowledge exchange and trade between Australia and China are eligible for ACACA funding.
Shanghai supermarket shoppers: projects and trade missions that encourage agricultural knowledge exchange and trade between Australia and China are eligible for ACACA funding.
lgao, Flickr CC
The federal government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) urges agribusinesses to apply for 2017 funding under its Australia-China Agricultural Cooperation Agreement (ACACA) Programme

ACACA’s competitive grant program calls annually for funding applications from ag-related projects and initiatives that strengthen Australia’s $12.7 billion bilateral agricultural trade relationship with China.

Agricultural trade and investment with China continues to be vitally important to Australia; and the two nations have a decades-long history of collaboration, knowledge and skill-sharing in the agricultural space.

“The ACACA Programme has laid a strong foundation which has now been used strategically to develop new opportunities presented by the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA),” ACACA Deputy Secretary David Parker noted in a recent DAWR press release (10 February 2017).

“ChAFTA eliminates tariffs on key commodities where there is growing demand – like beef, sheep meat, hides and skins, dairy, horticulture, wine and seafood – making Australian exports more attractive to Chinese importers and consumers.

“This year’s ACACA program will continue to provide two streams of funding, covering projects and trade missions in priority areas, including e-commerce innovation, sustainable agricultural technology, sanitary and phytosanitary training, agricultural products processing, and commodity production research.

“I encourage interested farm businesses and organisations to apply for program funding,” Parker said.

What are the 2017 funding priorities?

ACACA’s competitive grant program calls annually for funding applications, with specific funding priorities agreed upon by the Chinese and Australian governments.

For the 2016-2017 funding round, the agreed priorities and target areas of cooperation are:

  • e-commerce innovation;
  • science and technology cooperation;
  • sustainable agricultural technology;
  • post-harvest storage and waste;
  • sanitary and phytosanitary training;
  • agricultural products processing;
  • animal husbandry;
  • food safety;
  • trade and investment cooperation;
  • commodity production research; and
  • exploration of niche markets.

What sort of activities qualify for funding?

The ACACA funding program considers applications for projects and initiatives spanning an array of activities including (but not limited to):

  • technical exchanges;
  • information exchanges;
  • conference attendances;
  • officer transfer;
  • staff secondments;
  • working groups;
  • training programs;
  • workshops;
  • masterclasses;
  • feasibility studies; and
  • research and development.

What is covered under ACACA's trade-mission funding?

Expenses that may qualify for trade-mission funding include but are not limited, to:

  • international airfares;
  • Australian domestic fares as required;
  • translation services in advance of the mission;
  • single-entry visas into China;
  • travel insurance;
  • small daily allowances (at the Australian Government allowance rate) for discretional items (tips, newspapers, personal items, et cetera); and
  • conference fees.

What is the ACACA?

The Australia-China Agricultural Cooperation Agreement (ACACA) has been a crucial part of Australia’s bilateral trade relationship with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for more than three decades. A treaty-level agreement between the Australian and Chinese governments, it is designed to:

  • enhance cooperation across agricultural industries;
  • develop Australia’s agricultural trading relationship with China; and
  • provide a forum for the exchange of scientific information.

The ACACA funds projects and trade missions that support the objectives of the Agreement; align with one or more of the funding-round priorities; and/or provide flow-on benefits for the applicant, project participants and applicant’s broader industry or sector.

Recent ACACA-funded projects

Projects funded by ACACA in recent years include:

  • introducing e-Bale technology, a wool-bale tracking system, to the Chinese wool industry and exchanging information about the technology’s potential;
  • developing bilateral applications of new spatial and digital technologies for cropping; and
  • promoting opportunities and benefits to Australian and Chinese agribusiness under ChAFTA via the ‘Window on China’ series screened on ABC-TV’s Landline and available online, (partially funded as a $44,000 project under the ACACA). The next instalments of the series will air from noon on ABC-TV on Sunday 12 and 19 February 2017.

Further information and funding applications

For more information about the Programme and/or how to apply for ACACA funding, phone 1800 900 090 (toll-free within Australia) or visit the ACACA section of the DAWR website.

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