Sustainable Farming Fund

The Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) invests in applied research and projects led by farmers, growers, or foresters. Find out more about the fund and how to apply.

Funding from the grass-roots up

The SFF funds 'communities of interest' to do applied research and extension projects that tackle a shared problem or develop a new opportunity. 

Applicants can apply for up to $200,000 a year for a maximum of 3 years. The maximum total grant available is $600,000. Projects require a non-government funding contribution of at least 20%. Most successful projects are able to leverage a high proportion of other funding or in-kind support to complement the SFF grant.

1,000 projects and counting booklet

The SFF has supported over 1,000 projects between 2000 and 2017. This booklet celebrates the fund's success by putting the spotlight on 33 projects across the past 17 years.

Database of project information

The funding activity database contains information about SFF projects dating back to 2000. You can search this database by keyword, name, project number, region, or sector.

For more information about a project email

Grants Portal

In the grants portal, you can apply to open funds and project administrators can manage their existing projects.

Funding rounds

2018/19 funding round opens 1 August 2017

The 2018/19 Sustainable Farming Fund round will open on 1 August 2017 for 6 weeks, closing on 14 September 2017. The round is for projects starting from 1 July 2018.

All applications must be made through the MPI grants portal. Application forms for the round will be available in the portal on 1 August.

Supporting information such as frequently asked questions and guidelines on how to use the portal will be published on this web page when they are available. We recommend you contact our investment programmes team before you apply. Email

Help and guidance on your application will be provided until August 31 2017. The team can't provide assistance after this date.

Who to contact

If you have any questions about the funding round, call 0800 00 83 33 or email

Find out more

Earlier funding rounds

Lists of successful applicants and their projects from the previous 5 years:

Extension programme handbook available

MPI's handbook Over the Fence provides guidance and useful tips for anyone planning an extension programme:

  • within the primary industries
  • as part of a Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) project.

The handbook provides practical guidance on how to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate a successful extension programme. It covers topics such as barriers to making change and how to select the right extension activities for specific audiences.

Over the Fence features a number of case studies from past SFF projects and resources, including:

  • a team-building checklist
  • an overview of different delivery options
  • quick tips for getting your programme started.

Framework included to help build overall strategy

The handbook includes an MPI-developed extension framework. The framework will help you develop a strategy for your extension programme.

One of the approaches in the extension framework is co-innovation.  Co-Innovation is a way to help solve some of the complex challenges facing the primary industries. It involves significant collaboration between key stakeholders to research, develop and implement fit-for-purpose solutions. 

Evaluation of the fund

MPI contracted the Kinnect Group to do an evaluation of the SFF during 2013. The evaluation was a formal, independent assessment confirming the SFF's value. It also helped ensure the SFF was well-positioned for the future by aligning it more closely with Government objectives. Read Kinnect's reports:

Who to contact

If you need more information, email

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