Delicious fresh Scenic Rim produce will make it to dinner plates even faster thanks to a Digital Transformation Grant as part of Queensland’s Economic Recovery Plan.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said Scenic Rim Farm Box would use its $102,000 grant to develop a tailored digital solution for direct farm to consumer deliveries.
“These grants were established under Queensland’s Economic Recovery plan to help our agricultural industries make better use of digital technologies and access new opportunities,” Mr Furner said.
“The COVID-19 Pandemic created serious challenges for the agriculture sector, but the Palaszczuk Government has worked closely with industry to find solutions for emerging problems and stand shoulder to shoulder with our farmers.”
The grant to Scenic Rim Farm Box will support a $207,000 project that will include:
- Digital automation of the current food distribution centre system to improve supply chain efficiencies;
- Enable growth in new and existing markets for more than 65 produce suppliers;
- Maintain markets and supply chains during market disruptions such as lockdowns; and
- Increase supplier resilience and responsiveness.
Scenic Rim Farm Box general manager Genevieve Windley said creating greater efficiencies was critical to the ongoing sustainability of the Scenic Rim Farm Box business model.
“We’re extremely grateful for the opportunity this grant provides us,” Ms Windley said.
“Using digital solutions to solve operating challenges is an exciting opportunity to help achieve greater outcomes to the benefit of our 65-plus local suppliers.”
Mr Furner said a total of $5.5 million is being invested over three years through the Digital Transformation in Agribusiness Initiative.
“This funding, as part of our COVID-19 economic recovery strategy, will support agribusinesses to become more digitally aware and ready to respond to future disruptions,” Mr Furner said.
“Digital technology creates new ways of doing things that adds value to the agricultural sector by working more precisely, efficiently and sustainably.
“It offers innovative ways to connect producers to consumers, reduce problems related to remoteness in rural communities, and attract the next generation to jobs in the industry.”
Mr Furner said there was strong interest from industry in the first round of the Agribusiness Digital Solutions Grant Program.
“There were 22 applications received and the diversity of project proposals demonstrates the opportunities digital technologies create for the sector,” he said.
“Under a co-investment model, grants of up to $200,000 were offered for projects that enhance digital skills, drive business efficiencies and create regional jobs across Queensland.
“The approved grants of $1.045 million are for projects that use a range of technologies including the Internet of Things, cloud computing, intelligent apps, big data, automation, artificial intelligence and sensors.”