Australia's agricultural sector has long played an important role in the nation's economy, contributing significantly to national wealth, exports, job creation, and community benefit.
As agricultural innovation expands, Australia is placed at a unique advantage to gain a larger market share by investing in new solutions that enhance farming production, productivity, and profitability.
Initiatives that fast-track innovation in the Australian agtech space are critical to agriculture becoming an absolute advantage.
Australia's agricultural sector is indispensable to the country's economic landscape.
According to the Australian Government's Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry's Snapshot of Australian Agriculture 2023, the sector accounts for 2.4 per cent of the country's GDP, 2.5 per cent of its jobs and fuels exports that are sought after worldwide.
Beyond economic significance, agriculture is important in Australia's rural communities, supporting regional economies and local businesses.
Australian agriculture is globally acknowledged for its quality and competitive advantage.
The combination of environment-focused initiatives, vast environmental landscapes, a diverse climate, and well-supported and developed agricultural infrastructure has allowed Australian farmers to deliver high-quality produce to the global market for decades.
To transform this competitive advantage into an absolute one, Australia must not only foster, but fast-track innovation.
In an ever-developing industry, the nation has an opportunity to claim a bigger share in the growing demand for quality produce by investing in innovative solutions that focus on improving farming production, productivity and profit and fast track their development and commercialisation.
We need small and big, local and national initiatives dedicated to supporting this acceleration of innovation and ensuring agricultural success.
Investment-focused initiatives that incentivise backing inventors and their innovations are of high order in unlocking the untapped potential for growth across the sector.
Investors and innovators alike should get across the following recent and not-so-recent policies and programs aimed at backing investment in agtech:
These are all simple yet significant means by which we can foster and fast-track innovation in agriculture.
They are, however, a starting point.
Our success in turning agriculture into an absolute advantage requires greater imagination and investment by policymakers and industry.