The Queensland Government has teamed up with Hort Innovation for a $9 million smart farm partnership to accelerate the adoption of AgTech in the Queensland horticulture sector.
As part of the partnership, the Gatton Research Facility will be equipped with new infrastructure, including climate-controlled glasshouses, a retractable-roof protected cropping structure and cold rooms with the latest controlled-atmosphere technology.
The Gatton Smart Farm will also be provided with tools and technology to manage common farm pests and diseases.
Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said the smart farm would be a centre of AgTech innovation.
“Together with industry and commercial partners we’ll create an environment that fosters innovation and problem-solving. With agriculture an essential industry and such an important part of Queensland’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan, we need to lay the foundations of the future of the industry,” he said.
“This new infrastructure will also boost existing R&D by equipping research staff with the latest tools and technology to manage pests such as serpentine leafminer, fall armyworm and vegetable diseases.”
The centre will seek to accelerate the adoption of AgTech and automation, develop climate-resilient protected cropping systems and harness new post-harvest technologies to build domestic and export-ready supply chain systems.
All research outcomes will be shared nationally through Hort Innovation’s regional extension team and the industry-led VegNET program.