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New A$15 million boost for Victoria to be the Ag Tech Hub of Australia

Today, Australian Government announced a A$15-million to enhance agricultural technology on farm in Victoria.

This announcement was made by Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford at the inaugural AgTech Summit in Melbourne. The A$15-million digital boost will help strengthen Victoria’s position as a world leader in digital agriculture.

“Victoria is the AgTech hub of Australia, and with this investment we are looking at being a world-leader,” said Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford.

The funding can be used for a range of digital innovations including the implementation of robotics on farm, wireless technology, biotechnology adoption and virtual fencing.

Internet of Things (IoT) networks will be installed for farmer and public access, and benefits will be seen specifically in the dairy, grains, sheep and horticulture sectors. The trial will begin in the regions surrounding Maffra, Birchip, Serpentine and Tatura from 1 July.

Hundreds of farms will install sensors and devices to monitor, and in some cases control, farm operations. Data generated from the sensors and devices will be uploaded through nodes, gateways and servers for analysis and loading onto a software program that helps farmers make more informed decisions in real time.

Agtech has the capacity to revolutionise farming – improving productivity, sustainability and profitability on farm and down the value chain. The trial will help realise these opportunities by reducing adoption barriers relating to lack of connectivity, skills and capital.

The Victorian Government will consult with industry on the delivery of the package.

According to Minister Pulford, this IoT Demonstration Trial is an important step in maximising technology to help provide Victorian agriculture with a competitive advantage on a global scale.

This new A$15-million funding brings the Government’s total investment in digital agriculture to A$27 million, following A$12 million for the Internet of Things (IoT) on farm demonstration trial in the Victorian Budget 2016/17.

Just last month, Victorian Government was the first government in Australia to support the SproutX initiative, Australia’s largest and leading AgTech innovation hub, by opening a regional hub at Mildura.

“Our farmers deserve the very best tools to get the job done and digital innovation is at the heart of this – we’re proud to play our part in making this a reality,” said Minister Pulford.

At the same time, the Victorian Government is also ensuring its regional communities are digitally connected with the A$45 million Connecting Regional Communities Program, which increases digital connectivity and useability in regional areas.

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