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ATH TV: Update on the Agricultural Innovation inquiry


Welcome to “About the House.” Australian farmers have
always been great innovators. From the stump-jump
plough in 1876 through to using data,
such as satellite imagery, to assist farmers with ground
cover analysis, infrastructure planning, and identifying
erosion in 2015, our agriculture industry has
remained competitive worldwide in what is a high
cost environment. Recent development in fields
ranging from plant gene technology to telecommunications
present exciting opportunities for the agriculture industry. Chair of the Standing Committee
on Agriculture and Industry, Mr. Rowan Ramsey MP,
spoke about the inquiry into agricultural innovation
and why collaboration in this sector is so important. Well, basically, we are
looking at both the barriers and the opportunities to
the adoption of innovation within agriculture, because
for Australian farmers, the way they have remained
competitive in a world where we come from a
nation of high cost is by having the
technological edge, and we’ve always been early
adopters and great developers of technology. But it is very important
that one part of industry knows what the other
part of industry is, so we don’t go
around replicating things that we already
know and can bring those technologies to
mesh across the different industries. This inquiry has already heard
strong praise for Research and Development
Corporations, or RDCs, which are a unique
and important feature of the Australian
agriculture industry. RDCs bring together
industry and researchers to invest in research
and development, and to fund projects
that provide industry with an edge in global markets. The Council of Research and
Development Corporations represents 15 rural RDCs and
covers virtually all aspects of the agricultural industry,
including cotton, grains, dairy, meat, and livestock. Mr. Tim Lester, operations
manager from the council, explained the current state
of innovation in the industry, and noted the opportunities
and challenges for the sector. Well, our innovation system
actually is pretty good. The way, particularly
through the RDCs, that we are able
to pull together industry and
government investment, the way that we are
able to leverage that off the scientific capability. So in terms of this
committee, I think it’s looking for where
are the opportunities to perhaps streamline
some approaches or guide government priorities
in a way that makes sense for industry, and let
industry get on with the job, because they are best placed
to make those decisions. To find out more about the House
of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture
and Industry and its inquiry into agricultural innovation,
visit aph.gov.au/agind. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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