An international conference on tropical agriculture is an opportunity for Queensland’s agricultural sector to show how embracing innovation is creating a brighter future.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner opened the TropAg conference with more than 800 delegates from over 50 countries at Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
“The agribusiness and food sector faces change at an unprecedented scale and pace, from consumer trends, digital disruption and population growth to the loss of fertile land and climate change,” Mr Furner said.
“In the next five years we will see enormous change in the way we grow, produce, harvest, distribute and consume food and fibre.
“These changes will challenge us to produce more value with constrained resources while enhancing the sector’s contribution to the health, balance, prosperity and sustainability of Queensland communities.”
Mr Furner said innovation in Queensland’s agricultural sector was supported by significant investment in research, with more than $127million invested last year through Agri-Science Queensland, the research and development business arm of the Department of Agricultural and Fisheries.
He said this work was backed by 34 research facilities and field research sites across Queensland, including the $270million EcoSciences Precinct in Brisbane and the $100million Health and Food Sciences Precinct.
“The research conducted at these facilities helps food producers to increase their productivity and respond to emerging consumer trends for healthy, naturally-sourced and functional product,” Mr Furner said.
“Partnerships with research partners give Queensland access to globally connected research, development and extension capability that is able to draw upon the best available scientific evidence to address the key challenges facing the sector.
“We are investing in innovation so that our farmers can take on the world.”