How frequent are the application rounds?

  • The AGMARDT board meets throughout the year
  • Applications are reviewed at board meetings
  • You can find key dates here

When will I know when my application has been approved or declined?

  • We do our best to contact all applicants within 10 working days following a board meeting, often we’ll be in touch sooner
  • If you haven’t heard from us within 10 working days feel free to get in touch

Does AGMARDT offer market insights, conference or fellowship grants any more?  What about Leadership Scholarships?

  • We are no longer offering market insights, conference support or fellowship grants.
  • Our Leadership Scholarships are now labelled as Individual Capability and can be applied for throughout the year.

Is funding GST exclusive or inclusive?

All AGMARDT funding requests are GST inclusive so please ensure you have factored this into your costs when completing you application.

AGMARDT is a “public authority” as defined in section 2 of the Goods and Services Tax Act 1985. Where grants are made by a public authority the recipient will be required to return GST output tax on the grant if they are GST registered and the grant relates to their taxable activity. This is because the GST Act deems the grant payment to be consideration for a supply of goods/services to AGMARDT by the recipient of the grant. Grant requests are made GST inclusive, if any, to ensure the grant covers the GST output tax (if any) the recipient is required to pay. Where the recipient is not GST registered, there is no deemed supply and the recipient does not need to return output tax.

It is really important to note that when you are completing your application form, the amount approved as part of the application process is what AGMARDT will pay in total.

AGMARDT is unable to advise you on the correct tax treatment of the AGMARDT funding received. If you are unsure, we recommend that you seek advice from a Taxation Specialist or Financial Accountant.

What is in / out of scope for AGMARDT funding?

AGMARDT operates a relatively small fund meaning the Trust focuses on areas where it can have the greatest impact. We acknowledge there may be needs or gaps across the food and fibres sector that AGMARDT is unable support. We are happy to recommend partners or other funding organisations who may be able to help.

In scope:

  • Land based food and fibres sectors as per AGMARDT’s trust deed e.g. Dairy, meat, wool, horticulture, viticulture, bees, forestry, and arable
  • Agritech solutions that help to address to New Zealand agri food and fibres challenges
  • Food tech, a substantially grown New Zealand product
  • Environmental impacts of / on food and fibres industries
  • People development

Out of scope:

  • Aquaculture/Seafood
  • Policy development
  • Market access
  • Extension (see Extension FAQ below for exceptions)

What type of people or organisations does AGMARDT support?

  • AGMARDT supports individuals, groups and organisations of all sizes i.e. funding is not tied to a specific enterprise lifecycle stage e.g. pre-start up, start-up, growth, established / expansion etc
  • Applications most often come from individuals, groups or organisations who have limited R&D resources, budgets and programmes

What are the trustees looking for, what should I focus my application on?

  • In short, high quality, high impact ideas
  • Focus on demonstrating impact potential aligned to one or more of AGMARDT’s priorities:
    • Regional resilience / growth
    • Regional or placed based leadership
    • Improved environmental performance
    • Growing economic value for New Zealand (at farm, community, regional or national level)
    • Collaboration / partnership
  • Trustees are also looking for:
    • Evidence of the need / demand e.g. The problem to be solved, the market opportunity, capability / leadership needs
    • An innovative approach e.g. Transformational, diverse thinking, new and future focussed (beyond the here and now)
    • Benefits and influence can be sustained over time e.g. Future aspirations, scalability, broad longer term impact and influence, key learnings
    • Evidence of ability to deliver and the right mindset e.g. A clear, well thought out plan, sound success measures, capable people / teams, entrepreneurial spirit, growth mindset, willingness to learn and adapt
  • AGMARDT also looks favourably on applications where industry financially contributes (whether commercial companies or industry good organisations)
    • This signals strong support for projects and is a good demonstration of collaboration and industry commitment

Where can I learn more about the grants AGMARDT have granted in the past to avoid duplication or learn about others’ journeys?

  • You can access AGMARDT’s grants awarded here
  • Grantee impact stories can be found here and in our annual reports here

Do you have Word copies available of the applications to work on?

  • Yes, we do have word copies of our application forms available in our portal under the templates tab, for you to draft and work on.
  • Please note that you must cut and paste your responses into the application form on our portal.  These are the only applications we will accept.

Where can I find the reporting templates (Progress and Final)?

Where else can we go for funding?

If you classify as an agri-tech business, please check out the Agritech Support Explorer tool which can help you identify relevant sources of funding.


What’s the maximum I can apply for under the Agribusiness Innovation Grant (AIG)?

  • Up to $200,000

What level of co-funding is required?

  • <$30k – no co-funding
  • $30k+ – at least 40% of TOTAL project costs

Does applying for the <$30k grant preclude someone from applying for a larger grant later on?

  • No, in fact we would encourage this as a next step if early-stage work supported developing the idea further

If my application has been declined, is there a cool down period? How soon can I reapply?

  • There is a 12 month cool down period and applicants may resubmit after 12 months provided the project has changed significantly (modified/updated)
  • If you wish to reapply earlier than 12 months, please contact AGMARDT’s GM to discuss your specific circumstances to understand if a new application would be accepted by the trustees

Who is the “authorised person”?

  • The person filling in the application that AGMARDT will correspond with for the duration of the project

Does AGMARDT fund NPD pipeline research or changes to existing designs / products?

  • Early R&D is supported provided it’s in a new / novel area

Does AGMARDT support extension and delivery (knowledge transfer)?

Generally speaking, AGMARDT does not provide funding for this type of work. However, there are instances where this request may be successful:

  • Does it ignite the future (i.e. does it go beyond the here and now)?
  • Is it cross-sector (i.e. is not specific to one industry)?
  • Is it a new area (e.g. establishing a new system or taking a radical new approach)?

What should I avoid in my application / what doesn’t AGMARDT fund?

  • Capital expenditure (CAPEX) funding e.g. buildings, equipment, web-based products and services, etc
  • Operational funding unless someone is being paid to develop curriculum or commissioned to do specialised work
  • Retrospective funding (costs incurred before the project is approved by the board of trustees)
  • Focus on the here / now (incremental gains) with no link to the long-term future
  • Marketing / branding / comms unless it’s part of a larger innovation programme
  • Anything that can be perceived as ‘business as usual’ (BAU)
  • Projects outside the agribusiness sector
  • Duplicating existing work / reinventing the wheel
  • Duplication of funding assistance (note: applicants must disclose all third-party funding)

Do I need to undertake a market /economic evaluation? How should I answer this in my application?

  • Some applicant groups won’t have completed this work, particularly if they are conducting early concept tests. They would answer this application question in the negative
  • For others, particularly those applying for $30k+ grants some market work has usually been done e.g. identifying the size and scale of the opportunity and potential returns / impact for NZ’s food and fibres sector
  • As a rule of thumb, AGMARDT will expect a better understanding of the market from applicants in “stage 2” $30k+ grant applications vs “stage 1” <$30k grants applications

How should I respond to “evidence of market uptake of materials, industry input and benefit to the food and fibres industry”?

  • AGMARDT is looking to determine whether an idea has support by way of understanding what conversations have taken place and with who
  • The more specific you can be and the stronger the endorsement from others, particularly those within the targeted industry, the better

Who should I include as industry referees?

  • Reputable independents (i.e. people who are not part of your project team or AGMARDT trustees)
  • AGMARDT will be looking to understand referees’ perspectives regarding the level of support for your idea, you and your team
  • Your industry referees must be aware their names have been put forward

Why am I not able to include attachments with my application? Am I able to share supporting documents?

  • The GM and trustees read every application and as such all questions they are looking to have answered should be contained within that document
  • We encourage applicants to write clear, concise and focussed applications
  • If you still would like to provide supporting documentation, this can be sent to AGMARDT but there is no guarantee this information will be reviewed

Can I apply for AGMARDT funding to put towards a co-funding requirement for a larger application elsewhere?

  • The short answer is yes, sometimes we receive applications that request funding for a part of a project connected to a larger programme of work / application e.g. MPI’s Sustainable Food and Futures Fibres Fund
  • Please note, there should be no duplication of funding assistance – applicants must disclose all third-party funding


Who can apply for the Group or Individual Capability Development grant?

  • The Organisation/Group must be involved in New Zealand’s agricultural, horticultural and forestry sectors with a programme that will benefit the New Zealand Food and Fibres sector.

What do you need to provide alongside your Individual Capability Development Application?

    • A CV
    • A written reference

What are the co-investment requirements for a Group Capability Development Grant?

  • While there is no minimum co-investment contribution required, Trustees like to see other funding contributions from applicant or others, as this shows a commitment to the programme/initiative.

Is a personal or employer financial contribution required for an Individual Capability Development Grant?

  • We recognise not everyone has the personal means to contribute or an employer that can offer financial assistance however, where possible, Trustees like to see individual and or employer contributions as this shows a commitment to the programme/applicant.

Can I apply for funding to do a Nuffield, Kellogg, Escalator or other similar programme?

AGMARDT provides significant direct investment to many sector organisations as a ‘strategic partner’ to assist with providing leadership and governance training initiatives at subsided rates. We therefore do not provide financial support for individuals participating in these programmes. This includes (but not limited to):

  • Kellogg Rural Leadership programme.
  • Nuffield New Zealand Scholarship programme.
  • Agri-Women’s Development Trust (AWDT) programmes.

To ensure access to these programmes for deserving individuals, AGMARDT has provided additional discretionary scholarship funding to the Kellogg Rural
Leadership and Agri-Women’s Development Trust’s Escalator programmes. These AGMARDT scholarships are selected and administered by these respective organisations so please contact them for further information.