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Ag News

Innovation real in Ag - Read CBA report

  • By: Farm Tender "Prime"
  • Jan 29, 2018

Innovation is not just a buzzword in Australian agribusiness.  
It’s a recognised element of good business practice and critical
for the development and sustainability not just of individual
farms but also the wider agribusiness sector. In a world where
markets are increasingly global, demand for food and fibre
grows apace, and the need to produce more from less is a
pressing challenge, innovation is critical.

We surveyed farmers across the country on their thoughts
about innovation. Specifically, we looked at which aspects
of their operations present the greatest opportunity for future
innovation and we asked what they plan to do to make their
enterprises innovation-ready.

Our results show that farmers are not thinking of innovation
only in broad terms, as a goal to aspire to, but in very  
practical terms.

A significant proportion identify areas of their businesses  
that are likely to deliver future innovation opportunity.
Importantly, they are also clear on what steps they’ll take  
to enable innovation in their farm businesses.

Farmers see the greatest opportunity to innovate in farm
output. In other words, they can see potential in adjusting
what they grow or produce to suit changing market appetites,
and of course we’re already seeing this happen. Farmers see
somewhat less opportunity to innovate in production process
and marketing, with organisational structure seen to offer the
least opportunity to innovate in the future. It will be interesting
to see if this perception shifts over time. Certainly within
CommBank, we’re working with customers to help them realise
the benefits of tackling innovation on multiple fronts.

Our survey shows that in order to enable innovation in farm
businesses, producers intend to adopt a range of initiatives,  
the most popular being to conduct their own research.  
It’s worth noting, though, that while the results indicate a
strong proactive streak in the industry, more than a quarter of
farmers surveyed say they do not intend to take any action to
encourage innovation in their farm businesses in the future  
and rather intend to continue as usual.

Nonetheless, the overall picture is one of a highly engaged
agribusiness sector ready to embrace innovation