Posted December 12, 2015 06:28:20

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) says it has tens of millions of dollars prepared to kick-begin an agricultural innovation hub to be launched by the Prime Minister nowadays.

It is element of a broad approach by the NFF to harness new technologies and big information to reduce the charges of production and boost output.

“Digital agriculture is the next wave of productivity” and could add as a lot as $ 6 billion to farm revenue more than the next four years, according to NFF chief executive Simon Talbot.

“We want pathways to recognize the best suggestions and get them to market sooner in order to stay at the cutting edge,” Mr Talbot said.

Malcolm Turnbull, together with Mr Talbot, will right now launch the NFF’s innovation hub for agricultural technologies, named ‘Sprout’, at the Elizabeth Mcarthur Agricultural Institute at Menangle, south-west of Sydney.

Mr Talbot said the tech-incubator would identify, foster and market the very best new suggestions in the meals and agribusiness arena and match innovators with like-minded Australian companies to fund and create the technologies and take them to the world.

“Believe Shark Tank,” he mentioned, referring to Channel Ten’s reality Television show linking budding entrepreneurs with titans of market.

The NFF, he said, had worked with accountancy and economic suggestions firm Crowe Horwath to type an professional panel to assess projects, and currently had capital partners.

“We’re speaking about tens of millions of dollars offered,” Mr Talbot stated.

The hub is looking at numerous models of financing, like crowd-funding, investors purchasing shares in an emerging incubator-tested business, or through very low-interest loans.

“We’ve got sufficient capital to prime the pump and get the 1st 10 projects through, and then it’s a virtuous cycle.”

The first round of applications for Sprout will open early subsequent year.

“One point I am determined to solve is the aggravation of young agribusiness professionals obtaining to leave Australia to go to the US, Israel or Europe to test or trial new suggestions,” Mr Talbot said.

“We require to hold entrepreneurs in Australia and we want 10 occasions the entrepreneurs we have in agriculture.”

Ag-entrepreneur forced to uncover start-up funds in US

Young man seated at picnic bench Photo: Mr Pattison moved to the US to get start-up funding for his on the web produce sales business. (Supplied)

When young Victorian farmer William Pattison wanted to start up a website selling farmers’ generate direct to customers, no-a single in Australia would train him or back the project.

Last year he was forced to travel to the US state of Iowa, exactly where the Iowa Begin-up Accelerator provided him $ 20,000 and enterprise coaching in return for a 6 per cent stake in his business.

He launched Generate Run in the US, with 30,000 US tiny and organic farmers on the books.

He stated direct net sales were significant disruptors to conventional marketing and advertising channels with supermarkets, that could see farmers get double the funds for their product.

“We applied to the AngelCube Accelerator in Melbourne but did not get in, it wasn’t what their portfolio was seeking for,” Mr Pattison said.

“We could naturally see customer demand, and we looked for seed capital and a strategic capital and identified that overseas in Iowa.”

Massive information and farmers

The NFF is also unveiling its Digital Agriculture Service, established in collaboration with company and technology management consultancy Accenture.

It aims to collate, correlate and interpret the vast quantity of information becoming collected by and about agricultural companies, and provide farmers with new tools to enhance their choice producing and productivity.

“Presently it really is too tough for farmers to join all the dots,” Accenture managing director Anthony Willmott stated.

Becoming capable to link information about soil moisture, pasture growth, cattle genetics and herd rotation so that animals can be sold at the optimum time, he mentioned, could earn a farmer another $ 80 a head.

“By generating a service by farmers, for farmers, the NFF and Accenture will avoid the scenario playing out overseas exactly where farmers are locked into a specific service provider,” Mr Talbot stated.

“The NFF will ensure farmers’ data is securely held for their advantage, rather than the advantage of a third celebration.”

Late subsequent year the NFF aims to launch a publicly accessible service for the cotton sector.

The national farming body has also redesigned its on the internet platform in a bid to a lot more successfully connect producers, agribusiness experts and customers.

Mr Talbot conceded that numerous of the NFF’s initiatives needed reliable net connectivity — something not available in numerous components of regional Australia.

“That adjustments in March to April next year,” he stated.

“We’ve been operating with the NBN to make sure satellites are powerful in delivering a digital answer to farmers.

“We are also operating with Vodafone on on-farm options and on narrow-band networks to have on-farm wi-fi connectivity up to a 15km radius.”

Mr Talbot said this time next year Australian agriculture would be “digitally lit up”.

“We require to be certain we are prepared to educate, supply data and analytical abilities and the systems and tools necessary to turn out to be much better farmers.

“We are adopting a equivalent model to Israeli agriculture which had a 15 per cent productivity uplift in four years.

“If we attain that in Australia we are speaking $ 5 to $ six billion of potential new revenue to Australian farmers.”

Subjects: meals-processing, agribusiness, gm-technology, sydney-2000, camden-2570, wollongong-2500

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