Sustainable Farming Fund

The Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) invests in applied research and projects led by farmers, growers, or foresters. Projects that meet the criteria should deliver economic, environmental and social benefits to New Zealand. Find out more about the fund and how to apply.

Funding rounds

2018/19 funding round results

The 2018/19 Sustainable Farming Fund round closed on 14 September 2017. The round is for projects starting from 1 July 2018.

The panel of independent advisors met in late November and assessed the applications. Eighty-six eligible applications were received and of these, 28 were funded with a combined investment of around $7.15 million.

New pilot funding initiative – SFF Tere

Four of the 28 successful applications will receive funding totalling $271,000 from a new pilot initiative under the SFF called SFF Tere. Tere means to be quick, swift or fast. MPI is trialling this new initiative to support small SFF projects that require less than $100,000 in funding and are shorter in duration than existing projects. These projects will commence in the current financial year. The remaining 24 projects will start on 1 July 2018.

The successful projects

Here are the 28 successful projects from the 2018/19 SFF round.

Next funding round

The next funding round is likely to open in the second half of 2018 for projects to start 1 July 2019. MPI can work with prospective applicants and give feedback on any proposal prior to the funding round opening. We recommend you email to inquire about speaking to an investment advisor about your idea and its suitability to the sustainable farming fund before submitting your application.

Email the funding team

Changes made for 2018/19 round


This year MPI put additional emphasis on innovation as an assessment criteria to focus on project applications that are using fresh and new approaches to solving problems, creating opportunities or exploring new methodologies to achieve desired outcomes.

Who to contact

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

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.

SFF applications are assessed against the following 8 criteria:

  1. Contribution to economic, social and environmental sustainability
  2. Significance of the problem or opportunity
  3. Community of interest commitment
  4. Ability to deliver
  5. Adoption and Extension Planning
  6. Risk
  7. Value for money
  8. Innovation.

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.

Find out more

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