Sustainable Farming Fund

What does the Sustainable Farming Fund do?

The Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) invests in farmer, grower and forester led projects that deliver economic, environmental and social benefits to New Zealand's primary industries. Since 2011, the SFF has been open to aquaculture projects that support economic, environmental and social performance in the marine and land-based aquaculture sector.

The SFF funds "Communities of Interest" to undertake applied research and extension projects that tackle a shared problem or develop a new opportunity. SFF projects are led by rural land owners and managers often with the support of industry organisations, agribusinesses, researchers or consultants. Most successful projects are able to leverage a high proportion of other funding or in-kind support to complement the SFF grant

2015-2016 Funding Round

The 2015-2016 funding round is now open.

All applications must be made through the grants portal. You can access the grants portal by going to: We recommend you bookmark this site.

Full details on applying and using the grants portal can be found in the following documents:

Applicant Guidelines. These guidelines will provide guidance and information on the 2015-2016 fund round. Please read carefully before starting your application.

Grants Portal Getting Started Guide. These guidelines will provide detailed information on using the grants portal. Please read carefully before starting your application.

Grants Portal Quick Reference Guide. This provides a quick overview of the application process and how to use the grants portal.

Frequently Asked Questions. A list of SFF frequently asked questions.

How to apply

You can submit your application in 3 easy steps.

1. Register

Click here to register. You will be asked to provide some contact details including an email address which we will use to communicate with you. Once you’re registered, you will be able to submit and manage your applications.

2. Complete application questions

Click here to login. Once logged in, you will be presented with a list of open fund rounds. Click on ‘Apply’ next to the Sustainable Farming Fund round and complete all the required application questions. You will be able to save your application at anytime, so don’t worry if you don’t have all the required information to hand.

3. Submit your application

Once all the mandatory questions have been completed, you will need to attach your completed SFF Budget and agree to the fund round terms and conditions. Just remember to submit your application before the fund round close date which is 5pm 10 October 2014.

That’s it. You will receive email confirmation when you’ve submitted your application.

No late applications will be accepted.

Please note - All applications for the 2015/16 SFF funding round must be submitted to MPI through the online portal before the round closes at 5pm on 10 October 2014.

No late applications will be accepted as the online portal will automatically shut the funding round at 5pm on 10 October 2014.

Applications or relevant supporting material not submitted to MPI through the online portal will be returned to the applicant and NOT accepted for consideration.

2015-2016 Round Key Dates

Step Description Date
Fund round opens MPI online portal opens. Applicants can now register and submit applications through the online portal.

7 August 2014
Fund round closes Fund round closes. All applications must be submitted through the portal by the time. 5pm 10 October 2014
Applicants notified of outcomes

All applicants will be notified on whether they have been successful via the portal and email. March 2015
Successful projects contracted

All successful applicants have signed contracts in place with MPI

By 30 May 2015
Projects commence

All funded projects commence 1 July 2015

Funded Project Information and Publications

All current and previous project information can be found in the 2000-Now Database: a searchable database of all projects since 2000.

Further project information can be found in:

Publication information can be found in:

Other Useful Information

Reporting documents for 2012 and onwards projects

Evaluation of the Sustainable Farming Fund 2013

The Ministry for Primary Industries contracted the Kinnect Group to conduct an evaluation of the Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) during 2013. The results have now been published:

  1. SFF Evaluation Summary Report (18 pages) – for a general audience
  2. SFF Main Evaluation Report (69 pages) – full evaluation findings and methodology
  3. Three Case Studies: companion document to the SFF Evaluation (46 pages):
    1. Protecting the sustainability of New Zealand vineyards
    2. Top of the South: Setting an example for sustainable water quality
    3. Sustainable development and podocarp restoration on Tuawhenua lands

The evaluation provides an independent, formal assessment confirming the SFF's value. It also provides information to help ensure the SFF is well-positioned for the future by aligning more closely with Government objectives.

Anyone with questions specifically about the evaluation should contact the evaluation project manager, Clare Bear.

Help and Support

If you require further information, please contact MPI using one of the methods below:

Ministry for Primary Industries
Sustainable Farming Fund
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6140
Tel: 0800 00 83 33

Project Advisers

Janine Alfeld 
Senior Project Adviser 
Tel:  03 943 3802

George Strachan
Senior Project Adviser
Tel:  03 943 3242

Louise Askin
Senior Project Adviser
Tel:  04 894 0446

Neil Williams
Senior Project Adviser
Tel:  04 819 4785


Last Updated: 08 August 2014
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0800 00 83 33