MEDIA RELEASE: AusAgritech Association reiterates need for coherent national strategy, calls on political parties to bridge ‘critical gaps’ across Ministerial portfolios that are hampering the acceleration of the agritech sector

5 May 2022 – The Australian Agritech Association (AusAgritech) calls for whole of government approach to deliver on objectives outlined in their 2022 Election Statement, noting that the recent commitment to work with agritech industry leaders through the National Centre for Digital Agriculture and the announcement of support for events that showcase innovation and digital agriculture still lack a cohesive, cross-departmental strategy for commercial agritech.

AusAgritech, the peak body representing agritech nationally, says that despite recent commitments, the current Federal approach is still missing critical gaps across Ministerial portfolios and hampering the traction of the sector, leading the Association to now suggest the introduction of a statutory agency to drive cross-departmental collaboration.

“We need ‘one person’ in the Federal government who is responsible for agritech, who ensures that agritech, which is a technology sector, has the necessary support and Federal coordination to deliver better outcomes for farmers and producers,” says Tracey Martin, CEO AusAgritech.

The current approach of the ‘National Centre for Digital Agriculture’ focuses on the Drought Hubs and Agriculture Innovation Australia, with a heavy emphasis on RDCs. In addition, the recent commitment to support innovation and digital agriculture through events, of which AusAgritech is a recipient, is “progress”, but still “lacks coordination” at a Federal level, with energy, communications, sustainability, climate, digitilisation, industry and emissions reduction all slipping through the cracks under this model.

“It is a three legged chair,” Ms Martin says. “The sector needs greater coordination, that includes impacted Federal departments, to ensure that Australia can reach its agriculture targets and sustainability goals.”

In light of the continued gaps that remain under the current model, AusAgritech is now of the opinion that the elected government should create a statutory agency responsible for drawing together all of the units within existing departments that have engagement with the evolution of agritech in Australia, including those in energy, water, sustainability, digitilisation, environment, climate, industry and emissions reduction.

This agency would then be placed under the responsibility of either:
● The Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction
● The Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Art
● The Minister for Agriculture, OR
● Via the creation of an Assistant Minister for Agricultural Technology responsible for the oversight
and development of agri-technology in Australia.

In the Election Statement announced in February, AusAgritech sought a $100m investment from the federal government to fund a series of projects that would enhance and accelerate the agritech sector, and realise a potential $40Bn per annum value boost to the Australian economy.

The Election Statement calls on political parties to:
● Establish agritech as a standalone sector
● Develop a coherent national strategy with industry to grow the sector
● Drive a cross departmental approach with industry to facilitate agritech
● Agree a strategy with the agritech sector for continued direct investment
● Evolve tax policy that supports real co-investment in agritech
● Establish a statutory agency to drive cross-departmental collaboration and coordinate the Federal
departments spanning agriculture, environment, energy, digitilisation, water, sustainability,
environment, climate, industry and emissions reduction

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Media enquiries
Kara-Glenn Worth
Marketing & Membership Engagement Manager, Australian Agritech Association
+61 419 704 699 |

About Australian Agritech Association
AusAgritech Association is the peak body for Agritech in Australia, on a mission to shape the future of Agritech in Australia, and its contribution to the Australian economy. AusAgritech was established to put Australia at the forefront of global Agritech innovation, and aspires to drive maximum benefit from Australia’s continued investment in research innovation, ecosystem collaboration and digital strategies that enable new jobs, increase productivity and build sovereign capital. AusAgritech Association’s 100+ membership consists of leading Agritech’s in Australia as well as Universities, research bodies, SMEs and startups in the space.

Author: AusAgritech

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