Australian Future Agro Challenge 2019


Why did the scarecrow win the Nobel Prize? Because he was out standing in his field!

In November, the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur Leanne Kemp took time out of her busy schedule to visit the beautiful Tablelands region in Far North Queensland. Her visit coincided with the ever popular Future Agro Challenge – the Australian chapter of the global competition, which sees six agricultural entrepreneurs ‘pitch-off’ for the title of Global Agripreneur of the Year.

The destination of the Future Agro Challenge could not have been more fitting. Atherton Tablelands, is one of Australia’s most fertile agricultural regions. Dairy, beef and horticulture and broad acre farming from citrus to nuts are just some of the local industries that benefit from the red earth surrounds. There are also around 50 wind turbines perched on the highest point of the Tablelands taking advantage of clean and green renewable energy.

The pitch itself had startups battling their ‘best of the best’ ideas in Agroforestry, breeding, food security, food waste production and data science. There was even a super lightweight Farm Doctors drone on display used to map the local region – one of only three in Australia. The event attracted Council, State and Federal Governments as well as a range of angel investors. Last year’s winners Swarmfarm and ‘Emerging Exporter of the Year’, Natural Evolution also attended and judged the finalists.

The Tablelands visit was inspiring and demonstrates that real businesses in rural, rich fertile farmlands are the future of business. Our regions are creating jobs through innovation in our traditional strengths such as agriculture, manufacturing, resources and tourism, and encourage new industries based on our state’s assets, like biofutures.