Australia’s National Farmers Federation has a goal for the nation’s agriculture industry to be worth AUD100 billion at the farm gate by 2030, according to CDOTrends. It is a figure matched by estimates of the potential size of the country’s growing agtech industry.
Implicit in the NFF goals is that the industry, widely projected to be worth AUD80 billion by 2030 at the current rate of growth, won’t get to its AUD100 billion without the widespread digitalization of agriculture. Tertiary institutions are responding, with Melbourne Polytechnic and the University of Southern Queensland both offering new courses in agricultural technology from next year.
At the same time, a vibrant agtech industry is growing up alongside traditional farming. And according to the Australian Information Industry Association, the industry itself could be worth AUD100 billion by 2030.
The potential of Australia’s agtech industry, of course, is not just domestic but completely international and already there are signs that innovations developed in Australia can find a global market. A Canadian agtech company Semios recently paid A$100 million for Australian company Agworld, which offers real-time crop data and pest management support for farmers growing fruits, nuts, and other permanent crops.
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Grape growers in France and Southern California, meanwhile, are taking an interest in an Australian technology that blasts microwaves into the soil to kill weed and fungi and eliminates the need for herbicides.