Emerging technologies in agriculture

AgriFutures Australia - Acil Allen Consulting

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Knowledge level: Intermediate

Farm Table says:

A comprehensive, practical investigation into relevant technologies impacting the future of Australian agriculture.

The development and convergence of technologies is occurring at a faster rate than regulation. Policy and regulation have not necessarily kept pace with the rapid advancements in some technologies, and policy makers must balance opportunities with public safety.

The project had three outcomes:

  1. Identify the eight technologies that are expected to have the greatest impact on Australian agriculture over the next 5 to 10 years
  2. Identify and document the regulatory barriers and opportunities for each of the eight technologies, and the opportunity cost of not addressing them
  3. Identify and document possible regulatory controls or actions to address the risks, and who may be responsible for implementing them.

The technologies examined were:

  • Nanomaterials
  • Microgrids
  • Crowd-sourced funding (CSF)
  • Nutritional genomics (nutrigenomics)
  • Robotics
  • Drones
  • Sensors
  • Synthetic biology and gene editing
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)

Each of the technologies were rated against these selection criteria on a scale of 1 to 5, with five being the highest score, against the following criteria:

  1. What is the potential scale of the impact of the technology on the Australian agriculture in the next ten years?
  2. What is the potential breadth of impact of the technology on the Australian agricultural sector in the next ten years?
  3. Does it appear likely that the technology could have potential/possible adverse social and environmental impacts that may require regulation?
  4. Is there evidence of public concerns about these technologies that may need to be addressed?
  5. Is there a body of research about the barriers to adoption and regulatory options which would allow a closer examination of the issues?
2018 - Australia - AgriFutures Australia - Acil Allen Consulting
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About the Organisation:

Name: AgriFutures Australia

AgriFutures Australia is a new beginning for the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation. We are an organisation that proudly focuses on the future of Australian agriculture. We live and work in the regions and represent the interests and aspirations of farmers and rural communities.

Our vision is to grow the long-term prosperity of Australian rural industries. In practical terms, this means:

Initiatives that attract capable people into careers in agriculture, build the capability of future rural leaders, and support change makers and thought leaders.
Research and analysis to understand and address important issues on the horizon for Australian agriculture.
Research and development for established industries that do not have their own Research & Development Corporation (RDC), including the Rice, Chicken Meat, Honey Bee and Pollination, Thoroughbred Horse, Pasture Seeds, Export Fodder, Ginger and Tea Tree Oil industries.
Research and development to accelerate the establishment and expansion of new rural industries, such as Deer, Buffalo, Kangaroo and Camel Milk.

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