CSIRO’s plan to boost the agriculture and food sector

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CSIRO's plan to boost the agriculture and food sector

CSIRO is investing $ 150 million to combat drought, the food export market and the growth of the protein market.

CSIRO chief executive Dr Larry Marshall said the three missions together aim to seize a $ 20 billion opportunity for Australian agriculture to expand its position as a world leader.

The three research missions aim to:

  • reduce the impacts of drought by 30%
  • increase the value of Australian agri-food exports by $ 10 billion
  • produce an additional $ 10 billion in high-quality protein products by 2030.

“Australia has a natural competitive advantage in agricultural technology, like Silicon Valley does in technology – these missions leverage that advantage to develop these local businesses and improve the quality of life for the Australians who work there,” said said Dr Marshall. .

“Tackling challenges of this size requires an approach from Team Australia, which is why we are proud to have so many people on board to help Australian agriculture become more resilient, profitable and produce more abundant food and healthier for Australians and our customers around the world.

Mission 1: Drought resilience

With droughts in Australia expected to increase in frequency and severity, the mission aims to reduce the impacts of droughts by 30% by 2030. Researchers will study new farming systems that use water more efficiently, technologies to secure regional water supplies and new tools based on localized climate data that will facilitate the agriculture of the future.

The mission is vital to protect agricultural profitability, strengthen the economic resilience and water security of regional communities, and improve environmental outcomes.

The Drought Resilience Mission brings together CSIRO, the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment and the Bureau of Meteorology.

Mission 2: Trusted agrifood exports

Australia can increase the value of its agri-food exports such as our horticultural and cattle products by $ 10 billion by 2030. The mission will improve access to high-value markets through new isotope fingerprinting tools that can support the proof of origin of foods and check their cleanliness and green credentials.

The mission will also reduce the cost of meeting export requirements through new automated systems that use remote sensors and other technologies.

The Trusted Agrifood Exports Mission has ongoing projects with the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment, Hort Innovation and Meat & Livestock Australia.

Mission 3: Protein of the future

There is a $ 10 billion opportunity for Australian growers and producers to create the future protein for the growing world population. The mission will protect and develop existing livestock and aquaculture industries, develop new plant-based products, and use new technologies such as bioproduction to create new proteins or even turn waste into large-scale food products. value.

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) Managing Director Jason Strong said: “MLA is focused on building a new frontier for Australia’s red meat industry which will help the industry double its value. ‘By 2030, develop innovative clean food technologies and build new markets here in Australia and abroad.

The Future Protein Mission brings together CSIRO with the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, the Government of Victoria State, Meat & Livestock Australia and the Grains Research & Development Corporation as well as partners from the v2food industry, GrainCorp, Ridley, Clara Foods, Wide Open Agriculture and startups like Eden Brew. The mission also works with Food Innovation Australia Limited; Austrade; the Victorian-era state governments of New South Wales and South Australia; Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries; Western Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development; University of Queensland, University of Sydney, University of Technology Sydney, University of NSW and Edith Cowan University.

Launched in August 2020, CSIRO’s program of missions is focused on solving the six major challenges we face as a nation: our health and well-being, our food safety and quality, our national security, and resilience. of our environment, the sustainability of our energy and resources. , and the future of our industries.

Heads of mission from left to right: Michelle Colgrave – Future Protein; Ryan McAllister – Trusted Agri-Food Exports; and Graham Bonnett – Drought Resilience.

In addition to tackling drought, increasing food exports and developing protein markets, the Missions program seeks to tackle daunting challenges such as building an affordable hydrogen industry, the end plastic waste and the possibility for regions to achieve net zero emissions.

Top image credit: © stock.adobe.com / au / cobracz


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