Industry leaders to drive agtech uptake

Industry leaders to drive agtech uptake

Agribusiness
STEP FORWARD: Livestock SA board member and South East beef and sheep farmer Penny Schulz has been named among nine industry leaders to help drive technological innovation in SA.

STEP FORWARD: Livestock SA board member and South East beef and sheep farmer Penny Schulz has been named among nine industry leaders to help drive technological innovation in SA.

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NINE business, industry and academic leaders have been named to help drive the state's agricultural innovation forward.

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NINE business, industry and academic leaders have been named to help drive the state's agricultural innovation forward.

They have been appointed to the newly-formed Minister's AgTech Advisory Group to provide a coordinated and long-term approach to the development and uptake of technology in ag in SA.

The group includes AgTech start-up founder Andrew Grant, winemaker Oli Madgett, Elders innovation, digital and brand general manager Karen Ross, former chief operating officer at Sundrop Farms Dougal McOmish, Myriota business development executive Tom Rayner, University of Adelaide inaugural director of Agrifood and Wine Andrew Lowe, South East farmer Penny Schulz and SA Chief Entrepreneur Jim Whalley.

It was selected from almost 70 nominations and will be led by independent chair Leanna Read, SA's former Chief Scientist who is a renowned biotechnology expert.

Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister Tim Whetstone said members of the advisory group brought considerable experience and expertise across the AgTech and primary industries sector.

"Each member appointed to the AgTech Advisory Group is committed to making our agricultural industries more productive, sustainable and profitable through adoption of technologies and on-farm innovation," he said.

"Technology in the primary industries sector is changing at a rapid pace and this group will assist in positioning SA as a leader in this space.

"The role of this group is vital to encourage greater adoption of AgTech solutions on-farm and through the value chain - helping to build on SA's advantages, showcase businesses and organisations developing or using new technology, and to increase productivity and quality in our primary industries."

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Mr Whetstone said the Advisory Group would look at overcoming barriers preventing producers from adopting new or emerging technologies, commercialisation and focusing on a long-term strategy to grow AgTech use.

He said the need to have greater collaboration on AgTech in SA was a key driver behind forming the advisory group.

"AgTech has been identified as a key growth area to help farmers boost agriculture to a $100 billion industry in Australia by 2030 and SA needs a co-ordinated approach to ensure we can contribute significantly to this target," he said.

"This government is focused on supporting our primary industries to increase production and strengthen competitiveness on a global stage.

"I look forward to working with the advisory group to put positive policy in place to grow AgTech in SA."

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