AgriFutures Australia Annual Operational Plan 2022-2023

  • 87 pages

  • Published: 20 Sep 2022

  • Author(s): AgriFutures Australia

  • ISBN: 978-1-76053-265-9

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As we embark on our next five-year journey, we do so with a renewed vigour, excitement, and anticipation of what lies ahead. We remain steadfast in our commitment to delivering against our vision to grow the long-term prosperity of Australian rural industries and communities.

In doing so, we’ll be guided by the AgriFutures Australia 16:5:5 Roadmap set out in our new Research and Innovation Strategic Plan 2022-2027. It features a set of priorities centred around our three important audiences – our levied industries, emerging industries and other stakeholders.

The delivery of this Annual Operational Plan 2022-2023 will mark the first step in an exciting trajectory for our stakeholders as we collectively embark on a new phase in Australian agriculture.

There are many examples from across our key audiences that showcase the appetite for driving value through RD&E programs.

Our rice industry is world leading. Their vision and commitment to research and development has enabled us to establish Rice Breeding Australia Ltd, an incorporated entity between Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia, SunRice and AgriFutures Australia. This new entity will embed a commercial focus and introduce state-of-the-art breeding technologies to accelerate the development of new varieties with increased water productivity and cold tolerance.

In another example, AgriFutures Australia together with Lucerne Australia has invested in preliminary research to investigate potential evolutionary resistance of bluegreen aphid populations to commonly used insecticides within the pasture seeds industry. This research was developed as a direct result of grower concerns.

Meanwhile the Australian honey bee industry has marked a significant milestone in 2022, with six decades of contribution by Australia’s commercial beekeepers to their industry’s RD&E through the honey bee levy. To mark this occasion, AgriFutures Australia developed and released ‘Bee Informed’, a celebration of 60 years of honey bee research in Australia, documenting the journey this vibrant industry has been on. 

Emerging into the future, industrial hemp is experiencing strong growth, with new technologies improving production and a range of value-added products being developed. The development of the Australian Industrial Hemp Strategic RD&E Plan 2022-2027 is a critical step on the path to ensuring the establishment of this high-potential emerging industry.

AgriFutures evokeAG. continues to connect the agrifood innovation community across the Asia Pacific to the world. The formation of the AgriFutures evokeAG. Startup Network, which runs parallel to our annual event, offers a digital platform where farmers share their experiences, startups pitch their potential, scientists showcase their discoveries, global business leaders share their insights and industry experts debate their opinions.

One year on from the launch of AgriFutures growAG., a first-of-its-kind innovation gateway, the program has delivered on what it set out to achieve. Agrifood tech communities from Australia and around the globe have embraced the digital platform with more than 58,000 plus users from across 170 countries visiting since its launch. Over the coming years we’re eager to consolidate growth, not only with the 15 Research and Development Corporations (RDCs) and the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) but with other partners to see the information being shared and the connections being made leading to on-farm benefits.

Our successful national Producer Technology Uptake Program (PTUP) will continue to be delivered. It supports the adoption of technology on farms, targeting producers to overcome any barriers to adoption. The program sees AgriFutures Australia partner with successful groups to support the roll-out of activities spanning a 12-month period and leverages learnings across groups and ensures there’s peer-to-peer learning.

Addressing the requirements of a changing agricultural industry, attracting and retaining a future ready workforce and building the capacity of the people leading Australia’s rural industries will be critical. This activity will require whole of industry engagement and energy to ensure that we are setting our people and industries up for long-term prosperity. We have established the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Acceleration Grant which will run separately but complementary to the renowned AgriFutures Rural Women’s Awards. Seven Australian women each year will be granted a learning and development bursary of up to $7,000 for professional development to enable them to bring their idea, cause or vision to life.

There’s so much to look forward to. We acknowledge that the road ahead will not be free from setbacks, but we look forward to working side-by-side with our levied industries, emerging industries, and other stakeholders, to deliver against our collaboratively designed Plan.

– John Harvey, Managing Director, AgriFutures Australia