Talent and Foreign Investment
Attracting farmers with science, technology, engineering and math qualifications bring innovation and efficiencies to current farming practices – the challenge is to attract this workforce against often higher salaried urban opportunities.
The second challenge for agriculture is access mid-level foreign investment and capital to implement new technologies on-farm, access into retail markets through direct imports and a simpler more transparent supply chain.
Australia will have Japanese satellite communications with 24 hour coverage across the continent in the next few years – this provides new occasions for Australian farmers to harness data, understand what that means and use real-time information to make decisions.
Add to this better mobile telecommunications through backhauled NBN services, improved market access with the growth in free trade agreements and stronger consumer connections with product provenance and attributes going beyond the regulatory frameworks established by governments.
Examples of investment opportunities
Areas in horticulture such as processing – packing – export streamlining direct into specific location based market retailers in Asia, the US and the Middle East
- Dairy industry – milk processing and value add into products (liquid and solid) that supply niche markets based on food allergens and dietary and cultural preferences
- Red meat – tracking individual animals along the value chains to the customer (on the plate) using block chains and DNA tracing
- Scope out and curate the technologies that challenge the effects of climate change – these technologies could be:
- Seasonal weather forecasting
- Improved genetics to adapt to changing climates – seasonal duration, pest and disease regimes
- Biotechnology and gene-editing technology to address the decline in plant protein due to the increase in carbon
Partnerships with low cost production countries
Access to cost effective technology through innovations in manufacturing from low production cost countries. Technologies such as Un-maned Aerial Vehicles (drones), robotics and the automation of machinery, satellites, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, rapid analysis of data, and gene-editing biotechnology.