Connectivity to drive $15.6 billion annual increase to agriculture sector

New research released today demonstrates the critical role of ubiquitous NBN connectivity in supporting economic growth across Australia’s agriculture sector now and into the future.

The research, which is part of NBN Co’s Connecting Australia series, found that internet-enabled technologies could add $15.6 billion to the agriculture sector’s gross value of production each year, making a significant contribution to the National Farmers’ Federation goal for agriculture to be a $100 billion industry by 2030 – up from approximately $60 billion today.

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the NBN delivers fast broadband across all 7.7 million square kilometres of Australia’s landmass, providing the 85,000 farm businesses in Australia with connectivity to increase adoption of digital agriculture technologies.

“The research found that technology such as Artificial Intelligence that will support decision making, real-time monitoring tools such as soil moisture sensors and autonomous irrigation systems have the potential to inject billions of dollars’ worth of productivity gains into Australia’s agriculture sector,” Minister Fletcher said.

“Our Government, along with NBN Co, is focussed on delivering the broadband solutions that Australians need, and that includes our Aussie farmers. NBN Co’s dedicated regional and remote business unit is partnering with the agricultural sector on research and development so that agribusiness can further benefit from their NBN connectivity.”

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, the Hon David Littleproud MP, said this new research shows how new technologies can save farmers time and money.

“Embracing new technologies can help our farmers save time and reduce costs, as well as help access new markets, and this new research by the NBN Co shows this could deliver a $1.2 billion boost to premium exports by 2030,” Minister Littleproud said.

“That’s why our Government has also announced the development of a Digital Foundations for Agriculture Strategy to better harness the power of technology to improve farm productivity and profitability.

“Our Digital Foundations for Agriculture Strategy will complement the efforts of NBN Co and other organisations who are providing practical solutions to improve uptake of digital technologies in the agriculture sector.”

Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government, the Hon Mark Coulton MP, said Government prioritised the rollout of the NBN in regional Australia so communities and businesses can realise the benefits of fast internet.

“Through the NBN roll-out and initiatives such as the Regional Connectivity Program, the Government is delivering on our commitment to help rural economies maximise their potential,” Minister Coulton said.

“I strongly encourage farm businesses to engage with NBN Co’s agriculture development strategy and the Regional Connectivity Program to find solutions to their connectivity needs.”

The Connecting Australia report on agriculture was commissioned by NBN Co and undertaken by AlphaBeta.

For more information, or to read the report, go to www.nbnco.com.au/learn/regional  

Media contact:

Minister Fletcher:

Rebecca Papillo | 0439 892 771 | Rebecca.Papillo@communications.gov.au

Minister Littleproud:

Brett Chant | 0477 744 614 | brett.chant@awe.gov.au

Minister Coulton:

Steph Nicholls | 0417 314 920 | Steph.Nicholls@regional.gov.au