News

$86 million for drought resilience hubs

By Jamie Salter

The Federal Government will invest $86 million to establish eight Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs across regional Australia as well as a Digital Agriculture Strategy.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the hubs would support networks of researchers, farmers, agricultural businesses and community groups to enhance drought resilience practice, tools and technology.

“The hubs will also break down silos and provide a physical location where researchers and the community can come together to develop ideas that build drought resilience,” Mr Littleproud said.

“The end result will see a range of enduring institutions that cement partnerships among key organisations.

“I have been working with the Rural Research and Development Corporations to support improved collaboration, increased flow of investment and transformative innovation by establishing a special purpose joint investment company.

“These hubs will provide a direct link for research providers, such as the RDCs to the farmers, by providing a way for farmers to co-design innovative solutions that deliver real impact on-farm and along the supply chain.”

The hubs will be located in regional areas reflecting key agricultural and climatic zones across the country.

The regions will be located across the country including Victoria and southern NSW.

The Digital Foundations for Agriculture Strategy plans to set the foundations for widespread uptake of digital technologies across agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries.

“We know that digital technologies and agtech will drive the next wave of growth for the sector,” Mr Littleproud said.

“In fact, the Australian Farm Institute estimates full adoption of digital tools by the agriculture sector could boost productivity by around $20.3 billion each year.

“Over the coming months, we will also develop a National Agricultural Innovation Policy Statement to position the sector to reap the benefits of innovation, delivering for the Australian economy and our regional communities.”

The Research and Adoption program is one of the eight foundational programs of the Australian Government's Future Drought Fund and the Digital Strategy forms part of the National Agricultural Innovation Agenda.

To read more about the National Agricultural Innovation Agenda, visit: www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/innovation/national-ag-innovation-agenda