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Driving Queensland’s AgTech Superhighway

The Government of Queensland aims to tap into the state’s best and brightest to help drive the state’s AgTech superhighway. The Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities stated that the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) was creating an AgTech Roadmap to provide direction for AgTech development in Queensland and to accelerate the uptake of AgTech opportunities.

The Minister noted that the AgTech Roadmap is a vehicle that will enhance Queensland’s reputation as a global leader in the exciting and rapidly developing AgTech space. He added that Queenslanders are renowned as early adopters of technology and the AgTech Roadmap will not only assist the agriculture industry to keep pace with the rapid growth in technology in the sector but maximise its benefits.

This is an important opportunity for the AgTech community including industry, entrepreneurs, business, research organisations and all levels of government to have a voice in driving the strategic development of this roadmap. DAF was keen to leverage the knowledge and ideas from all stakeholders across the AgTech ecosystem.

Queensland has a rich pool of technical expertise and ideas that, combined with its reputation for innovation, will be vital to creating and optimising the AgTech Roadmap’s benefits to industry and the wider community, the Minister said. Consultation is open until the end of May and contributors are encouraged to participate via the online collaboration hub or by completing the AgTech survey.

The smart agriculture market is expected to grow from US$12.9 billion in 2021 to US$20.8 billion by 2026; it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.1% during the forecast period. The smart agriculture market witnessed a decline in 2020 owing to the spread of COVID-19.

The outbreak had adversely impacted the supply chain of the smart agriculture market, as some of the prominent players are based in China and the US, and these countries were the worst affected countries in the pandemic in the first half of 2020. The market is expected to witness a U-shaped recovery in 2021 with the rising demand for equipment and automation products in various applications, such as precision farming, precision livestock, and precision aquaculture among others.

AI and data analytics are gaining popularity among farmers. With the help of AI, farmers can analyse weather conditions, temperature, water usage, soil conditions, and others. Precision agriculture uses AI to detect pests in plants and about plant nutrition. AI helps in creating seasonal forecasting models to improve agricultural accuracy and productivity. As the penetration of technology is increasing in the world, its demand in the smart agriculture market.

According to the DAF, new and emerging technologies in robotics, packaging materials, biotechnology, digital and wireless systems, weather and animal monitoring, geospatial, and precision agriculture, to name a few, are expected to enable the industry.

The DAF is helping to evaluate Queensland agriculture’s tech-readiness and the ability to cope with disruptions of all types, including natural disasters. These challenges have spurred us to focus on transforming Queensland into a world leader in adopting innovative solutions in agriculture.

It was noted that the future will be complex and unpredictable, but the opportunities to grow and prosper through the adoption of AgTech are significant. AgTech, particularly digital developments, has the potential to transform the landscape of agribusiness. Exploring Frontiers provides a snapshot of cutting-edge technologies on the horizon for agribusinesses.

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