Individual or organisation to support the development of the hemp industry

AgriFutures Australia is seeking a suitably skilled individual or organisation to develop the national cultivar trial scheme for industrial hemp.

This open call closed at 5 pm (AEDT), Thursday 13 June 2019.


Industrial hemp is an ancient fiber crop. In contrast to medicinal cannabis, industrial hemp varieties contain only low levels of THC. At state level, the production of industrial hemp crops is subject to government regulation that requires farmers to acquire licenses to grow certified low-THC cultivars. In 2017, the Australian Parliament passed legislation that permits the use of industrial hemp seed and seed-derived products for human consumption in Australia. This has opened new market opportunities for industrial hemp that is expected to drive rapid industry growth.

That industry growth must be underpinned by increased production in certified industrial hemp seed. This requires (amongst other factors) attracting new producers to the industry with credible information about hemp cultivars and their suitability for cropping in Australia.

AgriFutures Australia has identified industrial hemp as an emerging industry with the potential to exceed $10 million annual gross value of production by 2025. AgriFutures Australia considers variety performance testing and agronomy trials as a high-priority investment for the industry and intends to provide seed funding for a national hemp cultivar trial scheme.

The role

This is a part-time contractor role (1-2 days a week on average) for up to 12 months, noting that time commitments will be higher in the first weeks or months of the project. The successful candidate has developed and/or managed complex projects involving multiple geographically dispersed stakeholders with diverse interests and backgrounds including from the private industry and government sectors.

The successful candidate has excellent technical, writing, communication/social, management, and negotiation skills.

The role would best suit a consultant or consultancy firm with a background in agronomy and/or crop breeding and first-hand experience in crop variety trials. The role involves limited travel and specific to stakeholder consultations and negotiations.

The scope

The successful candidate will identify, scope, and cost a range of trial options, gauge industry support for each of these options and negotiate co-investment from private and public R&D investors in Australia, including state governments.

The role requires identifying/developing:

  • Criteria for trial entries
  • Sources of planting seed
  • The type of trials to be conducted
  • The type of measurements to be taken
  • Trial protocols and laboratory methods to be applied to all trials
  • The number and location of trials
  • Trial cost
  • Regulatory compliance requirements
  • How and by whom the trial will be managed
  • How trial data will be stored
  • How data will be analysed and published.

Further, the role requires developing key terms that will govern the interaction with stakeholders and project participants, including terms relating to ownership of genetic material, ownership of trial data, access to raw data for research purposes, publication of analysed data, trial auditing, and trial management and administration

All above-mentioned tasks must be accomplished in close consultation with key industry stakeholders to be nominated by AgriFutures Australia.

Expected deliverable

The project will deliver a report and business plan detailing the proposed national hemp cultivar trial system including technical and legal framework parameters, cost options, and financial support both in-kind and cash for consideration by AgriFutures Australia.

Submitting a Preliminary Research Proposal

This open call closed at 5pm (AEDT), Thursday 13 June 2019.



Questions in relation to the open call may be directed by email to All questions and answers will be published on the website of AgriFutures Australia.