Agtech fund open for business

Updated December 15 2021 - 2:10am, first published December 14 2021 - 8:03am
Primary Industries Minister David Basham says the state government created the unique AgTech Growth Fund to support opportunities in SA agriculture to "increase productivity, profitability and create jobs".

COLLABORATION between SA farmers and technology providers will characterise a new $3.35-million AgTech Growth Fund that opens for applications today.

The unique fund is specifically designed to find solutions to on-farm problems by accelerating the development of new technology.

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Grants of up to $100,000 will be available on a 50:50 contribution basis to SA-based collaborative private sector projects that address a specific primary production industry challenge.

Primary Industries Minister David Basham said the state government created the AgTech Growth Fund - the first of its kind in Australia - to support opportunities in SA agriculture to "increase productivity, profitability and create jobs".

"Our farmers are some of the most innovative in the world, but the adoption of AgTech has not happened as widely as needed if we are to see dramatic growth in productivity and profitability," he said.

"Farmers face many challenges such as tough seasons and global market disruptions but these challenges can motivate industry to innovate and the AgTech Growth Fund will invest up to $3.35m to develop technology to do things better on farm and through the agriculture supply chain.

"The potential return on fully realising the adoption of AgTech is estimated at $2.6 billion per annum in extra agriculture gross value of production in SA and unlocking this growth is what this fund is all about."

Mr Basham said the state government had supported the development of AgTech demonstration farms, AgTech field days and tours, launched ThincLab Loxton and new AgTech start-up hubs in the South East and Eyre Peninsula, and hosted AdvanceAg - a conference designed to ensure agribusiness and AgTech developers build productive collaborations.

"AgTech has an important role to play in progressing the government's Growth State initiative to boost industry and jobs in regional SA," he said.

There is $800,000 of grant funds available this year and $850,000 up for grabs in each of the following three years.

The AgTech Growth Fund is a key component of the $5.2m AgTech Revolution Program detailed earlier this year in the State Budget.

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