The latest trends, opportunities and critical barriers to development across some of northern Australia’s key agricultural sectors will be under the spotlight at next month’s International Tropical Agriculture Conference (TropAg) in Brisbane.

Researchers from four of the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) industry sector situational analysis projects will present as part of the AgFutures Strategic issues facing agricultural development in northern Australia session on day one of the Conference.

Sectors covered during the two-hour session include the northern Australian beef, aquaculture, forestry and rice industries.  Presenters will share their research insights, trends and discuss emerging synergies between these sectors such as critical infrastructure needs, supply chains, land and resource use, future research and development opportunities, education, training and building workforce capacity and investment.  The CRCNA expects to use the recommendations and next action steps to deliver a clear, strategic road map for effective agricultural growth across the north.

In addition to these sectoral studies, the CRCNA has funded work with the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA) exploring business models and frameworks to support Indigenous-led development and diversification on Country.  NAILSMA CEO, Ricky Archer will discuss findings from his recent project, which worked with Traditional Owners across the Northern Territory to match land use options with possible economic and business opportunities – like tourism.  Ricky and his team are now progressing work around the development of Land Use Plans for project participants.

Through its work across key agricultural sectors and Traditional Owner development, the CRCNA has built a strong foundational knowledge about the risks and opportunities surrounding the developing northern Australia agenda.  It is clear, a significant impediment to realising north’s potential is the real (and perceived) risk associated with doing so – despite there being an abundance of arable soil, water and sunshine.  It is because of this challenge the CRCNA’s Chief Scientist Professor Allan Dale has partnered with Austrade and PwC to develop strategic solutions to de-risking agricultural investment.  Part of the proposed solution, according to Professor Dale,  is to find the right sort of investors and help them understand where the goalposts are and how they can effectively work within them.

Professor Dale will provide plenty of engaging food for thought on this subject when he discusses the interim findings from the PwC research and the broader de-risking agenda, as part of the symposium.

The CRCNA’s AgFutures session is shaping up to be a thought-provoking insight into the current state of the north’s key agricultural sectors, with attendees to hear for the first time some of the innovative and strategic solutions proposed to resolve long-standing industry challenges and approaches to attracting quality investment. Symposium attendees will also gain insights into how new approaches to planning Traditional Owner-led development could deliver significant economic opportunities for Indigenous communities.

The CRCNA AgFutures symposium is from 10.30 to 12.30 pm Monday 11 November.

View TropAg Program here.