Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (14:37): My question is to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development. Can the minister please update the house on how the Marshall Liberal government is supporting our regions through encouraging greater adoption of technology on farm?
The Hon. D.K.B. BASHAM (Finniss—Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development) (14:37): Thank you to the member for Hammond for his great question, and I know his interest in this space is enormous.
This Sunday and Monday, there are going to be 500 people coming to the Convention Centre here in Adelaide to participate in the government's agtech conference, AdvanceAg. This is a great initiative of the government to bring those key people together to talk about the developments that are available in new technologies that the agriculture industry can use.
As a farmer myself, I know the advances that have occurred in my lifetime are enormous, and the importance of uptake by industry to get those into operation is critical. It is very important that we work with industry to make sure they get that uptake. The sooner they use these new technologies, the greater we see the returns to the economy.
It has been a great collaboration, getting this conference up and going. It has been a real challenge, and we have certainly had challenges. We unfortunately had planned to hold this conference at the last lockdown we had in South Australia, so it had to be postponed, but it's looking all good for this weekend. Importantly, we will have the Premier there on Monday morning to open this conference. The Premier certainly very much understands the need for the investment in agtech and supports the development of the wonderful technologies in this space.
We also have a keynote speaker, a New Zealander and founding executive director of Agritech New Zealand. Unfortunately, he is unable to join us personally, but he will be there virtually. He is extremely disappointed that he can't be there. Peter Wren-Hilton is his name, and he was very much key to come across, but unfortunately the COVID restrictions have made it impossible for him to be here.
We also have the chief executive officer and co-founder of a South Australian success story, Myriota, Dr Alex Grant, speaking at the conference. Currently, down at Lot Fourteen, recently signed was an agreement with the Morrison government in the defence satellite space. That's the same technology that can be used for agriculture. It is really important for our farmers that we continue to invest in this space. There will also be 45 businesses there demonstrating their technologies, giving the participants, farmers and others the ability to touch and feel those new technologies.
Also, an exciting part of this year's conference is the introduction of a Pitch to Farmers competition. We have had over 30 nominations and it has been brought down to five finalists who will actually pitch their idea or their recently newly developed technology to the audience and the audience will be able to vote on these ideas. The winner will receive $10,000 towards developing those ideas. This is a great opportunity for farmers to learn about these new technologies, even before they have been developed. This is a key part of it: to have farmers, to have the ag businesses themselves, agtech startups, technology developers, educators and anyone involved in agtech there. We see a great conference occurring on Monday.
Independent analysis has shown that a full implementation of agtech is important to our South Australian economy. A 20 per cent increase in productivity can lead to a $2.6 billion increase annually if people take up these new technologies. This is a great initiative by this government to support agtech, to support these initiatives. This leads to jobs. This leads to the importance of keeping South Australia's agriculture as a key part of our economy. We need to continue and we need to encourage our farmers to be involved in this space, to learn, to uptake, and this is a great initiative to link Lot Fourteen right through to our farming. This is a great initiative.
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