The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries’ (DAF) draft Queensland AgTech Roadmap 2023-2028 is currently out for consultation and industry are invited to provide feedback to assist in shaping Queensland’s future strategic direction for AgTech development.
Innovation in Australian agriculture is not new. Farmers have been driving the creation of new technologies and farming systems since well before the term ‘AgTech’ was penned.
In recent years, AgTech has become somewhat of a buzz word but put simply, AgTech is a broad term for innovative technologies and methods being used in agriculture to improve crop yields, reduce costs, reduce waste in the production of food, fibre and foliage, and enable farming enterprises to become more efficient and profitable.
AgTech can mean anything from big data and analytics to robotics, artificial intelligence, precision agriculture, blockchain technology and machine learning.
Putting the hype aside, AgTech as an industry is gaining momentum with the emergence of a range of new players, new business models and new technologies coming to the forefront. As it stands, the global market for AgTech products and services is currently estimated at over $500 billion and is expected to grow to $730 billion over the next three years.
Technology continues to decrease in cost and increase in performance however a crowded marketplace can make it a difficult space for farmers to navigate and make informed decisions about which products will make a difference to their farm enterprise and who could be a trusted partner.
Farm-management software has a high rate of adoption among farmers and producers, followed closely by the growing utilisation of remote-sensing and precision agriculture hardware.
There is no doubt that a digital revolution is underway in agriculture. However, with the opportunity comes a number of challenges including lack of consistent connectivity, the increased risk to cyber security that comes with higher levels of automation and the high costs associated with the adoption of autonomous technology. These challenges are often significant barriers to adoption for many farmers.
If done well, AgTech development can play an important role in supporting the future of Queensland agriculture. As farmers continue to grapple with workforce shortages and increasing input costs, many are looking more to technology and innovation in search of solutions.
If you have an interest in the future of AgTech, I encourage you to provide input into the Queensland AgTech Roadmap 2023-2028. Feedback on the roadmap can be provided up until 6 April 2023 via https://daf.engagementhub.com.au/agtech-roadmap.