- Smart Farming sees improved processes from farm to fork, with the use of agriculture technologies like blockchain and robotics.
- The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has formed a Strategic Advisory Group for Smart Farming and Standards Australia is actively participating.
Australia’s agricultural industry is valued at $71 billion and agricultural technology (AgTech) has the potential to become the nation’s next billion-dollar industry.
AgTech is used to improve the value chain of agriculture; improving efficiency, profitability, and sustainability. This is often referred to as ‘Smart Farming’.
The concept of Smart Farming is to connect the entire value chain, from farm to retailer to fork, and everything in between. For example, blockchain can be used for food traceability and robotics can enhance decision making when harvesting crops.
Smart Farming is a useful way to support farmers meet increasing productivity demands in an increasingly challenging climate. In Australia alone, farmers have the effects of climate change firsthand, from bush fire to droughts and floods all within the past few years.
With growing interest in this space, Standards Australia is proactively working with its members and contributors to identify how standards development can be best utilised to support all who work with, and benefit, from AgTech and Smart Farming.
Earlier this year, Standards Australia held its Smart Farming and AgTech Forum. This brought together key experts across industry and gave them to an opportunity to shape international standards development on Smart Farming.
Standards Australia has also been invited to nominate representatives to work with ISO’s Strategic Advisory Group on Smart Farming (SAG-SF).
The SAG-SF is tasked with making a Standards Roadmap with the goal to support the development of interconnected systems for data to enable efficiency, effectiveness, compliance, and sustainability.
Mapping processes for data capture, information exchange and identifying standardisation gaps will be integral to the roadmap.
Australia has appointed Angela Schuster, a key expert and strategic consultant, to be actively involved with SAG-SF.
“Angela’s involvement gives us the opportunity to shape international standards, covering a wide variety of areas including improved cropping techniques, environment and climate concerns, and livestock,” said Monique English, Standards Australia’s Agriculture, Fishing and Food Engagement Manager.
Ms Schuster said that “agriculture is under increasing pressure to improve efficiency and produce more with less. Smart farming has the potential to help relieve this pressure. Unfortunately, the global standards landscape in Smart Farming is fragmented and susceptible to poorly coordinated efforts. This issue is hindering the ability for Smart Farming to deliver on its full potential."
“ISO has created SAG-SF to address this challenge. Its Roadmap will set the direction for international standards in smart farming for many years to come and enable smart farming to deliver its huge potential.”
“It's important that Australia is well represented on the different subgroups that operate under the SAG-SF to ensure the challenges and considerations unique to Australia are being considered in the development of this roadmap and future work in this space,” Ms Schuster concluded.
Standards Australia’s Forum also highlighted key areas of standards development including interoperability, data management - especially across the AgTech industry’s supply chain, bio security, research, and development.
Additionally, climate change and food security were identified as key areas where standardisation can have a positive impact.
To find out more, please contact Monique English via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
 Agrifood | Global Business and Talent Attraction Taskforce (globalaustralia.gov.au)
 Why agtech is Australia's next $100 billion industry (afr.com)