Even though Australia faced a hoard of anarchic situations at the beginning of the year, the farmers of the country ensured that the nation remains a premium exporter of produce. Some of the calamities include bushfires, droughts and the chaotic circumstances caused by the pandemic. Nevertheless, there are a few aspects that need to be kept in mind to ensure that success is always maintained.
Despite the tremendous amount of investments that the agricultural domain has witnessed, this sector remains one of the least digitized in the country. This is due to the booming population and the demand for more animal-based protein. Hence, the traditional methods of farming are being thoroughly exhausted.
Leveraging the millions of data points generated every day on-farm to increase productivity and success, and engendering a culture of data-led decision making, will provide farmers with an increased arsenal of insights and knowledge in order to meet future challenges.
Fortunately, the investment world is waking up to this need and the contemporaneous development of the agtech ecosystem. 2020 is set to see more than $4.5 billion invested into agtech startups, surpassing the past four years by considerable margins and validating the agriculture theme at the forefront of venture portfolios.
Agriculture is a cornerstone for the Australian economy, delivering 12% of the country’s GDP when including processing and retail. Currently, the sector is valued at A$60 billion ($45.7 billion) – somewhat short of the government’s aim of A$100 billion ($76.2 billion) by 2030.
To achieve this success and secure the long-term economic strength of Australian agriculture, we’re going to need to see the government take a more active role in assisting farmers in the uptake of new technologies and innovations.
Focus on local food security and the resilience of global supply chains has become heightened not only by the pandemic but by consumers wanting to know where their food comes from.
In 2020, we’ve seen a greater push for the adoption of technology to monitor and track meat supplies, and this will continue. Through blockchain and digital record keeping, the industry can establish a single source of truth and digital record of on-farm production data, helping track livestock throughout the supply chain.
Not only will technologies like this enable robust traceability, success and biosecurity but also provide a stamp of assurance and quality for Australian agriculture on the global stage. In effect, technology will help deliver true food security from field to fork and unlock international export markets that are demanding evidentiary food provenance.
Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)