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the future of agrifood technology at evokeᴬᴳ 2023

In just three years, investment in Australian agri-food technology has skyrocketed. With the planet’s rapidly growing population, never-ending concerns about the climate and an urgent shift to sustainability, the market for innovative agri-food technology has never been more hungry.

The golden age of agri-food technology investment is upon us, if you ask John Harvey, CEO of AgriFutures Australia.

“When we first started looking at agri-food technology, probably six, seven years ago now, total investment worldwide was about $2 billion in startups,” says John. “Last year, agricultural financiers put it at about $50 billion.”

While global numbers point to a surge in interest across the board, the impressive growth trajectory is most evident in our own backyard.

Following on from the very first AgriFutures is calling event, the total investment in Aussie agrifood tech in 2019 was approximately AUD$90.3 million. In 2021 the time had come $565.5 million.

The timing couldn’t be better for the return of AgriFutures evokeᴬᴳ, Asia Pacific’s premier agri-food tech event, after a two-year hiatus. Over two action-packed days (February 21 & 22), the brightest minds in agri-food technology will gather at the Adelaide Convention Center to explore, collaborate and support their peers’ innovative ideas. From farmers to founders, investors to scientists, it will be a who’s who of agri-food technology.

John gave Startup Daily a preview of what to expect from this year’s event.

Making a difference on the ground

The theme of evokeᴬᴳ 2023 is Down To Earth, exploring the possibilities around technology and its potential to actually make a difference beyond a theoretical conversation. With a focus on practical and impactful innovation, AgriFutures wants to support the collaboration between all kinds of agrifood technology players; from those with funding to those on the ground and in the paddocks.

“We’re looking for startups, we’re looking for investors, we’re looking for researchers,” John tells Startup Daily. “[People] who are really interested in making a difference in the field.”

According to John, anyone interested in the future of Australian agriculture, or agriculture worldwide, should attend. More than 1,500 delegates are expected, with more than 125 speakers to explain this year’s theme.

“We have a real mix of companies, investors, start-ups, researchers and government in one room there,” says John. “It’s actually the largest premier event in the southern hemisphere related to agricultural innovation.”

to call to actionAG. In 2023 there will be more than 40 startups Boot Alley showcasing their ideas and technology to investors from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Europe and the US. In addition, eight trade missions from New Zealand, Denmark, France, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, Israel and the Middle East and North Africa.

Given this extraordinary trajectory of growth and potential in Australia’s agri-food technology environment, the voices of emerging players are being taken very seriously.

“It is very important to me and to the AgriFutures board that we listen to the next generation coming up,” says John. “Listen to their ideas, listen to their aspirations and see what we can do to support them.”

Watch John’s full interview:

To infinity and beyond: tackling the big problems

At its core, evokeᴬᴳ 2023 is about exploring the ways in which innovative and new technologies can solve some of the biggest problems of the future of agriculture. Feeding the growing population, integrating sustainability and rebuilding the sector after the consequences of the pandemic are the main topics of discussion this year.

“Feeding the world is still a big challenge,” says John. “The shift in the geopolitical landscape since we’ve had COVID has been huge.”

The most pressing problem in the agricultural sector right now is population growth all over the planet and how to feed all those extra mouths.

“We are still trying to feed a population that is likely to grow to 10 billion by 2050,” says John. “So there is no shortage of challenges and innovation will be critical to solving those challenges.”

Since COVID, the cost of inputs in agriculture has increased significantly. John says both researchers and founders are globally shifting to using carbon neutral materials, diving into technology that promotes efficiency and sustainability, without costing an arm and a leg.

“It’s a pretty exciting place to be and we’re trying to capture all that conversation, all that energy, all that buzz at evokeᴬᴳ,” says John.

Watch the full two-day Program 2023 here, including all speakers, partners and networking events. Tickets are on their way to selling out. Buy your tickets here.

If you are an investor who want to attend the investor-only event contact Lauren Sharkey ([email protected]).

This article is brought to you by Startup Daily in partnership with AgriFutures.

Feature image: AdobeStock


Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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