Sustainable Fisheries Development Fund and Sustainable Agricultural Development Fund invite new applications under enhanced schemes
Tuesday, February 28, 2023
The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) today (February 28) announced that a series of enhancement measures for the Sustainable Fisheries Development Fund (SFDF) and the Sustainable Agricultural Development Fund (SADF) have been implemented and the funds under the enhanced schemes are now available for application.
The Government established the SFDF and SADF in 2014 and 2016 respectively with a view to promoting modernised, high value-added and sustainable development of the fisheries and agriculture industries.
To further support the development of the industries in terms of application of advanced technology and intensification of production, and to help them seize the opportunities arising from the Greater Bay Area development, the Government obtained approval from the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council in December last year to increase the approved commitment to $1 billion for each of the two funds.
In addition, the two funds have also enhanced the application procedures, including the establishment of task forces to provide targetted support to interested applicants before they submit formal applications. For example, a task force will advise on the refinement of project proposals and preparation of necessary documents. Both funds have also further streamlined the application procedures to expedite the time required for application approval.
At the same time, the coverage of the two funds has also been suitably expanded. General applications are now divided into three categories, namely: "Innovative Projects" which are innovative, unique or piloting in nature; "Application Projects" which support technologies/modes of commercial operations that have achieved preliminary results but are not necessarily unique or piloting in nature, or have not yet been widely applied in the local industries; and "Support Services Projects" which provide support services for the sustainable development of the industries and enhance their competitiveness. A project which is non-profit-making in nature can receive full funding while a project which involves commercial elements will be funded on a matching basis. The Government's contribution to an "Innovative Project" or an "Application Project" involving commercial elements will be limited to no more than two-thirds or half of the total project investment respectively.
Under the two funds, the Equipment Improvement Project and the Farm Improvement Scheme have been set up respectively to provide financial assistance to fishermen/farmers for purchasing equipment, so as to improve their productivity. Over 2 200 fishermen/farmers have benefitted directly to date. In order to encourage and step up the support for fishermen/farmers to adopt modernised equipment and facilities for production, in addition to allowing eligible applicants to apply for grants either in their personal capacity or through group applications, each eligible applicant who owns one production unit may apply for a grant with a ceiling of $50,000. Eligible applicants who own more than one production unit may apply for a total of two grants with a ceiling of $50,000 each, i.e. a total grant ceiling of $100,000.
Both funds accept applications throughout the year. Details are available on the respective fund websites:
Sustainable Fisheries Development Fund: www.afcd.gov.hk/english/fisheries/sfdf/SFDF.html, and
Sustainable Agricultural Development Fund: www.afcd.gov.hk/english/agriculture/sadf/sadf.html