Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers embrace digital innovation

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities The Honourable Mark Furner

Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers will be the first of nine organisations to benefit from the first round of the Queensland Government’s Digital Transformation Grants under its Economic Recovery Plan.

Member for Bundaberg Tom Smith said BFVG would receive almost $160,000 towards a project to create new digital and internet-based opportunities for its member growers.

“These grants were established under Queensland’s Economic Recovery plan to help growers like those in the Bundaberg region to access new opportunities,” Mr Smith said.

“The COVID-19 Pandemic created serious challenges for the agriculture sector, but the Palaszczuk Government has worked closely with industry to find solutions for emerging problems and stand shoulder to shoulder with our farmers.”

The grant to Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers will support a $330,000 project that will

  • Deliver a grower-focussed online dashboard accessible to agribusinesses within the Wide Bay region;
  • Demonstrate an integrated blockchain paddock to plate system to support product traceability;
  • Trial on-farm traceability technology; and
  • Provide extension services through the delivery of workshops and online materials.

“This is a direct and practical way that the Palaszczuk Government is supporting local farmers as part of Queensland’s Economic Recovery Plan,” Mr Smith said.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said a total of $5.5 million is being invested over three years through the Digital Transformation in Agribusiness Initiative.

“This funding, as part of our COVID-19 economic recovery strategy, will support agribusinesses to become digitally aware and ready to respond to future disruptions,” Mr Furner said.

“Digital technology creates new ways of doing things that adds value to the agricultural sector by working more precisely, efficiently and sustainably.

“It offers innovative ways to connect producers to consumers, reduce problems related to remoteness in rural communities, and attract the next generation to jobs in the industry.”

Mr Furner said there was strong interest from industry in the first round of the Agribusiness Digital Solutions Grant Program.

“There were 22 applications received and the diversity of project proposals demonstrates the opportunities digital technologies create for the sector,” he said.

“Under a co-investment model, grants of up to $200,000 were offered for projects that enhance digital skills, drive business efficiencies and create regional jobs across Queensland.

“The approved grants of $1.045 million are for projects that use a range of technologies including the Internet of Things, cloud computing, intelligent apps, big data, automation, artificial intelligence and sensors.”

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