Queensland’s Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch is attending the 2016 Silicon Valley AgTech Conference to explore opportunities for the state’s agricultural technology industries to collaborate with global leaders in the field.
During the visit, the Minister met with high profile industry leaders and representatives of top companies and investors in agricultural technology, including Terviva and IS Davis.
“Queensland’s food and agriculture sector is our second biggest export earner, contributing more than $13 billion a year to the state’s economy, and there’s room to grow because we currently produce enough food for only a small percentage of the Asian population,” Ms Enoch said.
“We could earn millions more in export dollars in the coming years by taking advantage of growing food markets. However, to remain competitive and seize the opportunities, our farmers and agricultural businesses will need to continue to innovate.”
Ms Enoch said recent breakthroughs in plant gene editing, automation, telecommunications, remote monitoring and drones highlight the critical role science and innovation plays in increasing yields and reducing costs.
“We want to build strong multinational relationships to ensure our farmers have access to the latest technologies that will help them farm smarter,” she said.
“The AgTech conference has been a great opportunity to meet with potential collaborators and investors and promote Queensland’s agtech industry, research capability and startups – particularly as farmers ramp up productivity to meet rising Asian demand. With all this activity, we expect agtech startups to capitalise on the opportunities and investment companies to jump on board.”