Workshop helps shape the future of AgTech, good jobs in central Queensland
Growers and agricultural tech representatives are gathering at Emerald this week as part of AgTech Month to collectively brainstorm new, smart ways to address crop challenges with technology solutions.
Agriculture Industry Development and Fisheries Minister Mark Furner said Emerald’s new Central Queensland Smart Culture Center is the perfect forum for this meeting of the minds.
“The Smart Cropping Center is rapidly transforming into a greenhouse for robotics, sensor networks, drones and other technologies that support agricultural systems in an environment of increasing climate variability,” Furner said.
“Just recently, the Smart Cropping Center started using robots and drones on site to test their capabilities in the field.
“This week’s co-design workshop will flesh out the challenges the local agriculture industry is facing and what they think could make a difference to their business and industry.
“The information gathered will allow the center to continue to shape its work in a direction that is meaningful and supportive of local producers.
“The role of the Smart Cropping Center is to develop solutions that help growers maximize their efficiency, so collaboration is essential.
“This kind of innovation paves the way for the future of agriculture and the thousands of good jobs that depend on this industry.
Mr Furner said Central Queensland is an important agricultural production region, contributing significantly to Queensland’s $23 billion agricultural industry.
“As part of the 2021 State Budget, the Queensland Government has invested $5.85 million to develop the Central Queensland Smart Cropping Center as an innovation flagship that brings together RD&E in farming systems, l agronomy, crop innovation and plant protection with the latest innovations in AgTech and data. sciences to provide a world-class research center for Queensland’s agricultural sector,” he said.
“This will build the confidence of local and national industry to invest in new technologies and growth systems to achieve productivity growth, increase exports and ensure future food security.”
The center is part of the Queensland Smart Farms initiative which is developing a network of farms and facilities dedicated to advancing Australia’s agriculture and food industries through AgTech innovation – AgTech in action.