How Tech Can Save the Australian Agricultural Sector

The Future of Agricultural Technologies report released by the Australian Council of Learned Academics (ACOLA) in September has highlighted how the use of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), and blockchain can help in the sector’s advancement. 

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Farmers and the agricultural sector as a whole has had a tough couple of years with long-term drought, raging wildfires, and widespread flood. While there’s no telling when the weather conditions will shift back to the world’s favor, it’s become clear that the sector has to adapt and find long-term solutions to plan for the future.
“Innovation in our agriculture sector is critical for our economy, our food security and so much more. With a supportive policy environment, workforce and investment, we are confident that the future of agriculture in Australia will be one in which data analytics and artificial intelligence are as at-home on the farm as they are in any other high-tech industry,” says Steward Lockie of ACOLA.
Blockchain can be used to help in supply chain transparency, quality assurance and significantly reduce transaction costs. Blockchain acts as a ledger where all data and information throughout the entire agricultural process are transparent and accessible to all stakeholders, including the consumers. Together with the use of sensors, this could mean that consumers could find out who grew the produce on their table, which farm it came from, when it was harvested, and so much more.
By using AI and IoT, farmers and agricultural businesses could automate the environmental monitoring process and focus on other tasks as well as gather comprehensive data to help in decision making. These technologies will not only increase productivity but will also enable precision and the development of new products that can thrive in today’s environmental conditions.
“Historically, Australian producers have been rapid adopters of innovation, and these emerging technologies will help our agriculture sector to transform and tackle current and future challenges,” says Doctor Finkle AO, Australia’s chief scientist.
Adopting new technologies has become critical in helping farmers face present challenges. It’s no longer about convenience, but rather survival.
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