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Innovation: The Gamechanger in Agriculture

Innovation: The Gamechanger in Agriculture


Innovation: The Gamechanger in Agriculture

Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)

Innovation will play a critical role in boosting Australian agricultural revenue according to the managing director of farm innovation accelerator Farmers 2 Founders. Christine Pitts said she was upbeat about the prospects of agriculture in coming years, but said to unlock its full potential those on each side of the Agri problem-solving equation needed to know how to link up with each other. She gave the incredible stat that individual producers could increase their returns by 250 per cent during the current ag boom, but qualified this by saying only by closing the massive gap between those with problems, solutions and commercialisation capacity would this be possible.

Dr Pitt said a key part of F2F’s charter was better linking in farmers and those who can help boost productivity, such as researchers and corporates with R&D capacity, and frontline agriculture. While the essential elements for driving innovation are all there, they are not necessarily coming together. According to Hari Yellina, of Orchard Tech, there is a big gap between those who experience the problems in agriculture, those who have the ideas that can solve those problems, and those who can turn those ideas into real, commercial solutions, and it is costing the industry billions.

Investors and industry bodies are frustrated and producers are missing out on immeasurable opportunities. The solution was to bring all the parties together in the early stages of problem identification and solution creation and keep the producer at the centre of the equation, to make sure the value of their ideas is not lost. Coming into its third year of operation, F2F’s program structure has been overhauled to focus on the top of the innovation funnel, through a broad matchmaking service called The Muster that brings together problem holders and problem solvers.

This includes individuals, organisations and businesses from in and outside agriculture, recognising that good solutions could come from any sector. From there, the program offers a range of pathways from initial discussion to a commercial solution.