The five pillars of FOCUS have a foot in today and a foot in tomorrow, looking at how we can invest now to yield benefits for the future of our sector.
We have a vision for agriculture being Australia’s next $100 billion industry – but what will the future of farming actually look like? How will the elements, outcomes and enablers of FOCUS combine to help us achieve our vision of a sustainable, profitable and productive agriculture sector for the future?
We believe that investments along the lines of those listed in this document can revolutionise the agricultural sector in the state. Our vision for agriculture has a start time today, and a future to 2050 and beyond…
Shorter and more efficient supply chains have changed farming, enabling it to be super high-tech and fast-moving. Better labelling and packaging is giving our producers access to premium markets, lifting margins for farmers and value-adding beyond the farm gate.
Margin maximisation has lifted investment in new and emerging technologies; innovation has resulted in farmers growing as much in 2050 as humanity has grown collectively since the beginning of time. Intensification, especially in plant-based crops, is driving a mid-century agricultural revolution, resulting in more efficient resource allocation, reduced use of chemicals and lower labour costs.
Producing the right products
The consumer is in the driver’s seat – not only directly ordering goods from the source, but letting farmers know exactly what they want in terms of quality. Customisation of produce, based on a fair price, is commonplace.
Safe, locally grown fresh foods and whole foods are highly valued; consumers have never been better educated about the agricultural supply chain and the impact this has on their health and wellbeing.
A fully integrated and seamless biosecurity model, executed with military precision, has been implemented to ensure full coordination of activity across control authorities. Advanced digital technology has been deployed to ensure real-time coordination of information and management responses at the border and on the farm.
Trade and export readiness
The majority of the world’s consumer class will live within a 12 hour flight of Sydney. Today’s emerging markets of Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Korea are major trading markets for fresh produce grown on farms across New South Wales. These consumers have one eye on quality, and the other on the story of the food moving from paddock to plate.
New South Wales will rival places like the Netherlands in the efficiency of its agricultural production and export platforms. Alongside higher volume exports, many farmers are exporting their own brands, exploiting high demand for premium, niche foods with provenance credentials.
Decentralisation and regional development
Strategic investment in high-tech regional food manufacturing and logistics has driven population decentralisation and regional growth on the back of high value STEM employment, food tourism and industry investment. Major centres in regional New South Wales have doubled in size and become globally facing agribusiness hubs, sustaining growth in population size and diversity.
Related to this, food tourism has become a central plank in export marketing. Enterprising farmers and cooperatives are validating their product offerings on Asian e-commerce platforms through opportunities for travelling consumers to sample products at source. Regional festivals, up-market hotels and ancillary tourism services have all benefited from their collaboration with the farm sector.
Services and infrastructure
World-class health services are available to regional and remote communities via new investment in human service hubs, coupled with smart deployment of telemedicine technology and allied health workers.
Digital connectivity has been lifted to first world standards and the majority of farms are highly automated and seamlessly connected to the internet and cloud services; functions such as irrigation control are fully automated. Energy efficient, autonomous, and remotely operated vehicles and other machinery have become standard.
Environmental stewardship and sustainable production
New South Wales will be recognised as a global leader in environmental stewardship, renowned for its smart adoption of renewable energy, water efficiency and organic waste recycling practices.
Integrated environmental services schemes are rewarding farmers handsomely for provision of biodiversity, climate and water quality services. As part of this, farmers are providing detailed environmental data from sensor systems on their properties. These data flows have massively improved the accuracy and utility of government climate and environmental management systems, ensuring the resilience of the New South Wales land and water system and enabling holistic solutions for managing drought, fire, flood, climate change and biodiversity conservation.