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AgTech Hub Launched in Queensland

The new Bundaberg AgTech Hub is set to unlock the enormous potential of agricultural technology across the region and enable local farmers to explore the latest innovations. The region’s Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities officially launched the Bundaberg Regional Council’s AgTech Hub on 8 July 2021 at Bargara. He noted that the adoption of AgTech by producers is key to the future profitability and sustainability of Queensland’s agricultural supply chain.

The regional AgTech Hub will strengthen the state’s $18.5 billion agricultural sector and align with the Queensland Government’s commitment to accelerate the adoption of digital solutions across industries. Agriculture is a critical part of Queensland’s Economic Recovery Plan and investments like these will help it go from strength to strength.

Agribusinesses in the Bundaberg region will now have access to emerging technology and services at the early stages of commercial release. CQUniversity is using the hub as a base to attract tech companies to the region and trial cutting edge agricultural technologies, including advanced robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and traceability systems with producers and their supply chain partners.

The Bundaberg Regional Council Mayor noted that the area was home to uniquely diverse agricultural production. This lends itself to the development of AgTech across many fronts and we must be at the forefront of the AgTech revolution, he said.

There is so much opportunity in agriculture for data collection and precision farming going forward that it could open up a whole new world. This is an excellent opportunity for local producers and the wider industry he said.

The local government aims to drive this aim, and in recognition of that, Bundaberg Regional Council has re-purposed its former administration building at Bargara specifically to provide a nexus for a nationally and globally significant regional Agtech ecosystem.

Bundaberg Regional Council is appreciative of the support they received from all levels of government for this AgTech facility including the CQUniversity’s Hinkler AgTech initiative, the Mayor noted.

The Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities congratulated Bundaberg Regional Council on the Bundaberg AgTech Hub, which received seed funding and support from the Queensland Government.

“The future is looking bright, with the state’s AgTech sector ready to respond and support agribusiness to address their challenges and embrace new opportunities,” he said.

AgTech development and adoption is key to the profitability and responsiveness of Queensland’s agriculture supply chain. The Queensland Government is committed to accelerating AgTech in this sector and through the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, positioning Queensland as a world leader.

The Queensland Government’s AgTech vision is to connect, inspire, and support the AgTech ecosystem. The aim is to build a responsive and agile agribusiness and food sector by embracing industry transformation through AgTech solutions, and enhanced digital capability.

To bring together researchers, development specialists and professionals to unleash the potential of AgTech. The focus is to:

  • drive practice change by supporting Queensland agribusinesses to commence a journey to identify, explore, and adopt AgTech where it’s beneficial.
  • support agribusinesses to improve productivity, profitability and sustainability through AgTech solutions.
  • coordinate and connect with Queensland agribusiness by enhancing relationships, industry partnerships and learnings.
  • explore the potential for adopting digital applications and decision support systems.

Queensland is proud of its agricultural tradition. In the 1950s Queensland farmers were using steel ploughs and implements, tractors, combine harvesters and fertilisers to boost production efficiencies.

Later, biotechnology assisted agriculture to improve crop yields and withstand pests and diseases. Computer and digital technologies led another farming revolution right across the value chain – in paddocks, packing sheds, farm offices, distribution warehouses, transport infrastructure and points of sale.

Today, Queensland agriculture has a global reputation for clean, green and sustainable food, fibre and foliage. Investment in its AgTech agripreneurs will lead to new solutions to the region’s ever-evolving consumer demands. AgTech is the transformative frontier.

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