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

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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