QUEENSLAND played host to a global food and agriculture technology extravaganza this week, with almost 1000 people attending day one of the GFIA In Focus Australia innovation fair held at to the Brisbane Conference and Exhibition Centre.
Targeted at Australian consumers, agribusiness, investors and farmers, the fair included two concurrent conferences run alongside a trade exhibition showcasing a range of agriculture and food innovators.
Opened by Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, the Honourable Mark Furner, the event attracted a number of high calibre speakers across themes of controlled environments, protected cropping and precision agriculture.
In the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAFFI) Future Farming and Food Workshop, the adaption of food production in a changing climate environment was a key topic.
University of Queensland (UQ), director for crop science, Graeme Hammer said a focus on water productivity in cereals was important for global sustainability.
“The current rate of growth that we had doesn’t cut it, if we look at the need to increase our productivity to a level that would make us secure for food globally, we have to make some significant changes now,” he said.
UQ, School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Professor, Ian Godwin spoke of gene editing technology and the outcomes deliverable to both consumers and farmers.
The workshop was closed by Centre for Crops Science, director, Neena Mitter, who gave a presentation on nanotechnology and the technologies role in future sustainable food production.
On the other side of the theatre, the Precision Agriculture and Smart Farming theme focused on innovations, with a variety of panellists covering areas as diverse as financial technology, precision agriculture for livestock and blockchain.
Fly the Farm, owner, Meg Kummerow spoke about the utilisation of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in farming and the need for technology manufacturers to understand the agricultural production systems they could be used in.
“In the livestock area we are using them for mustering and scouting, vermin location, animal health and autonomous asset inspections, for cropping we are using them for scouting and plant checks,” she said.
“People developing the technology need to understand where farmers are getting their information and how they are using the technology, boots in the field is still key.”
GFIA In Focus Australia organiser, One CMG Group, sales director, David Stradling, said the inaugural event had surpassed expectations.
“This exhibition and conference has shown Brisbane to be a fantastic venue for farmers, growers and agribusinesses across the country to learn more about the latest innovations in agriculture,” he said.
FollowFarmOnline for detailed coverage of the event over the coming weeks.
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