NAB has signed on as a Foundation Member of the Australian Agritech Association (AusAgritech) as it looks to help build a world-class agricultural technology (Agtech) sector in Australia.
Through the two-year partnership, NAB will support AusAgritech in its goal of developing a $20 billion a year Agtech industry. This will be critical in creating jobs and new export opportunities that will benefit regional Australia.
NAB Executive Regional and Agribusiness, Julie Rynski, said harnessing the transformative power of technology was vital to help farmers grow agriculture into a $100 billion industry by 2030 – a goal set by the National Farmers’ Federation and supported by the Federal Government.
“The future of farming will be shaped by Agtech. It’s vital that technology and data is available so it can be used by farmers to keep them in the driver’s seat when they’re making decisions,” Ms Rynski said.
NAB and AusAgritech will work together to facilitate information sharing, key learnings and advocate for the Agtech community, including Agtech developers, farmers as adopters, researchers and industry bodies, to help develop and scale the sector.
AusAgritech Chairman, Andrew Coppin, said gaining the support of NAB, one of Australia’s forward-thinking banks, is a true indication of the importance of building an Australian Agtech sector.
“As a leading bank to Australian agribusiness for over 160 years, it stands to reason that NAB is supporting innovation and enterprises that help deliver better productivity and profitability across the entire agri-food sector today and into the future,” Mr Coppin said.
“We have some of the best farming operations in the world, so it makes sense that we have exceptional Agritech businesses too.”
Agtech is already helping producers around Australia optimise their operations, including NAB customers and NSW beef producers and Agtech developers, Bill and Jacqui Mitchell.
The Mitchells, of Glenbrook Pastoral Company in Armidale, have developed and commercialised the remote cattle weighing system, Optiweigh, that enables automated in-paddock weighing, data collection and monitoring and is sold across Australia.
“Optiweigh is as reliable as traditional yard weighing, but without the stress and energy loss that goes with mustering and yarding cattle. It also gives producers the ability to make critical nutritional and paddock management decisions to maximise weight gain,” Mr Mitchell said.
The Agtech innovation is not only benefiting the beef industry, but also regional communities.
“All of our manufacturing takes place in regional Australia. The steelwork is manufactured in Guyra, the electronics are manufactured in Toowoomba and we have an office and a team of four in Armidale,” Mr Mitchell said.