Bendigo ag-tech businesses encouraged to unite and conquer

FIELDS OF POSSIBILITIES: As the way farmers ply their trade changes there are hopes local ag-tech businesses will collaborate. Picture: GLENN DANIELS
FIELDS OF POSSIBILITIES: As the way farmers ply their trade changes there are hopes local ag-tech businesses will collaborate. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

There are hopes Bendigo’s growing “ag-tech” businesses will come together, share ideas and potentially collaborate as they take advantage of surging demand for new technology.

This Thursday the Central Victorian Agribusiness Forum will invite speakers to explore ways to increase productivity on farms and within agriculture businesses.

Those speakers include ANZ regional executive Nathan Carkeek, who said emerging technology had left the sector “on the cusp of something really big”.

A recent ANZ report predicted “unprecedented shifts throughout the entire supply chain” driven largely by technology development and investment. The report estimated technology-related capital stock would almost double to $73 billion by 2030.

As farmers and agribusinesses demanded technology new businesses had emerged which specialised in robotics, sensors, genetic technology and precision farming.

There were already a number of regionally-based businesses, operating out of Bendigo amd nearby towns.

They included an outfit selling self-steering tractors into foreign markets and a startup with a one-of-a-kind solar-powered internet repeater network tracking data from sensors on gates, roads, machinery. fuel bowsers and livestock.

They were by no means the only ag-tech businesses in the region and the CVAF’s Glenn Pomeroy believed there were opportunities for local businesses to come together and collaborate.

He was planning a series of ag-tech meetups in the region to help business people meet and share their successes.

“There are a lot of people around Bendigo and central Victoria who do some pretty innovative and amazing stuff, both nationally and globally,” he said.

“For me it is about pulling those people together to have a conversation what’s happening around central Victoria, ultimately with the view of getting better collaboration with individuals and businesses which could grow something in the ag-tech sector.”

“I’m hoping with those briefings, particularly, to do some live streaming and bring in people who are world class. So we are hoping to bring the best here as well as share what we are doing locally,” he said.

Mr Pomeroy would use his presentation to the industry on Thursday night to introduce the meet-up concept, with meetups perhaps beginning as early as August.

The Thursday event would also see Hazeldene’s John Hazeldene and Blackmore Wagyu’s David Blackmore give insights into how they intensified production at their operations using current best practice.

The event is sold out but those interested in finding out more about the ag-tech meetups can contact the Central Victorian Agribusiness Forum at cvaf@outlook.com.