Australia: Bridging the Research and Ag-Tech Divide
The potential opportunities ahead for farming are obvious to those of us working in agriculture, and the increasing interest from the research and ag-tech industries to upgrade our sector reinforces that optimism, according to an article at Queensland Country Life. As farmers are called on to increase production while reducing their ecological footprint and input resources such as water and chemicals, research outcomes and technology that can deliver real solutions are becoming increasingly important.
Agriculture has dealt with siloed, disjointed research and tech solutions for some time, and this challenge is increasing as less traditional and new players become more involved. Research data is only useful when it is understood – as Google’s chief economist Dr Hal Varian said, we must, “be able to understand it, to process it, to extract value from it, to visualize it, to communicate it…” Similarly, the design and development model often used by ag-tech players is different to the traditional RD&E framework that agriculture has relied on and has become accustomed to.