The Queensland government will provide a $44,416 Digital Transformation Grant to the Queensland Oyster Growers Association, to fast-track a trial of internet-connected monitoring systems.
“These grants were established under Queensland’s Economic Recovery plan to help our agricultural industries make better use of digital technologies and access new opportunities,” minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said.
“The COVID-19 Pandemic created serious challenges for the agriculture sector, but the Palaszczuk government has worked closely with industry to find solutions for emerging problems and stand shoulder to shoulder with our farmers.”
The grant to the Queensland Oyster Growers Association will support a $156,472 project that will include:
- Deployment of a network of sensors to collect environmental data
- Integration of sensors into a digital platform using the Smart Oysters application
- Deliver training to members on the collected data, to be used to support farming methods
- Increase awareness among associated industries.
“The grant will help to put technology and innovation at the forefront of oyster production, leading to better outcomes and higher productivity for growers,” Furner said.
The Oyster Growers Association will be able to further grow the oyster industry via this funding, Oyster Growers Association secretary Henry Hewish said.
“The sensors our association was able to purchase through the Agribusiness Digital Solutions Grant program will enable the Queensland industry to begin collecting data and grow our industry using the most efficient and up to date technology,” he said.
A total of $5.5 million is being invested over three years through the Digital Transformation in Agribusiness Initiative.
“This funding, as part of our COVID-19 economic recovery strategy, will support agribusinesses to become digitally aware and ready to respond to future disruptions,” Furner said.
“Digital technology creates new ways of doing things that adds value to the agricultural sector by working more precisely, efficiently and sustainably.
“It offers innovative ways to connect producers to consumers, reduce problems related to remoteness in rural communities, and attract the next generation to jobs in the industry.”
There was strong interest from industry in the first round of the Agribusiness Digital Solutions Grant Program.
“There were 22 applications received and the diversity of project proposals demonstrates the opportunities digital technologies create for the sector,” Furner said.
“Under a co-investment model, grants of up to $200,000 were offered for projects that enhance digital skills, drive business efficiencies and create regional jobs across Queensland.
“The approved grants of $1.045 million are for projects that use a range of technologies including the Internet of Things, cloud computing, intelligent apps, big data, automation, artificial intelligence and sensors.”
For information about the Agribusiness Digital Solutions Grant Program, phone 13 25 23.