Opportunities to grow South Australia’s AgTech sector will be top of the agenda as Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone travels to Israel today as part of an Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce Trade Mission.
AgTech, which looks at how digital technology can improve food production, has been identified by the Marshall Liberal Government as a key growth area to help South Australian farmers boost agriculture to a $100 billion industry in Australia by 2030.
Israel is a world-leader when it comes to innovation and the adoption of AgTech, enabling farmers and agronomists to optimise crop management and feed the world.
As the Marshall Liberal Government aims to grow the agriculture and horticulture sectors in South Australia, Minister Whetstone said the learnings from his trip to Israel will help shape future AgTech policy.
“Israel has more than 750 active start-ups and companies operating in the food tech and AgTech sectors, so there is enormous opportunities to better understand how South Australia can benefit from greater adoption and commercialisation of technologies,” said Minister Whetstone.
“Given Israel is known as having a dry climate, it has identified technology as a key to driving inventive agricultural solutions, including the desalination of commercial water.
“There are enormous opportunities to grow the AgTech sector in South Australia and given Australia’s similar climate to Israel we can learn a lot from its world leading technologies.
“While in Israel I will be meeting with more than 30 experts in their field ranging from an organisation that uses insects as a protein source for animal feed to a company that specialises in green pest control, such as fruit fly.
“If we want to grow and improve the way we do business, it’s critical we embrace technology and apply the latest knowledge and practices.
“AgTech is a focus for this government and that’s why we are in the process of forming the Ministerial AgTech Advisory Group which will look at overcoming barriers that may be preventing producers from adopting new or emerging technologies, commercialisation and focusing on a long-term strategy to grow AgTech in South Australia.