Start-up hubs giving AgTech regional boost

Two new AgTech start up hubs will open in South Australia’s South East and on the Eyre Peninsula as part of the Marshall Liberal Government’s $7.6 million AgTech program.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham announced the new start-up hubs at Monday’s AdvanceAg conference in front of a sold out audience of 500 people.

The hubs are another initiative by the Marshall Liberal Government to grow more grains, meat, milk, wool, fruit and veg by enhancing the adoption of agricultural technology by farmers across the state.

Minister Basham said increased AgTech adoption across South Australia could lead to an extra $2.6 billion value in agricultural production per year.

“We know that increasing the use of AgTech on-farm and throughout the supply chain will be a boon for the whole state with our farmers growing more food and profitability,” Minister Basham said.

“AgTech – which can include sensors, farm management software, imagery, smart farm equipment and genomics – enables agribusiness to innovate, grow and adopt more efficient practices.

“In the South East, the start-up hub will use the Struan Research Centre and Struan and Kybybolite Best Practice Demonstration Farms as focal points for development and commercialisation of AgTech that supports livestock and grazing systems.

“The Eyre Peninsula start-up hub will utilise the Minnipa Agricultural Centre and Farm as a focal point for development and commercialisation of AgTech that supports broad-acre cropping and sheep production systems.

“The new start-up hubs will specifically support entrepreneurs in developing innovative technology capabilities, so they can help farmers solve critical agricultural industry challenges.”

“To be able to announce these start up hubs at our premier AgTech conference AdvanceAg in front of more than 500 attendees is very fitting. With COVID-19, there have been limited opportunities for farmers and AgTech community members to get together and network.

“This year we have focused on having technology providers present with a farmer who uses their technology as a way to encourage greater adoption of tech on-farm in South Australia.

“The Marshall Liberal Government is committed to growing AgTech adoption in South Australia as a way of boosting farm profitability and production and that’s why we have launched our AgTech Strategic Plan.”

The AgTech start up hubs, which will be supported by BDO Advisory’s AgTech division and Hydra Consulting, will nurture ideas from concept to testing and then onto adoption by farmers.

Expressions of interest are now being sought from AgTech entrepreneurs who would like assistance to develop and commercialise their ideas. For more details about the start-up hubs, or to register an expression of interest to be involved in the hubs, visit: www.pir.sa.gov.au/agtech

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