The Victoria Drought Hub expands to ‘Agricultural Innovation’ and is appointing adoption officers, under $3.6m in new funding

Vic Drought Hub - Farmland 1

The Victoria Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub has now expanded its mission to include a greater focus on Agricultural Innovation. This includes a further $2.5 million in funding from the Future Drought Fund of the Australian Government, as it seeks to progress the National Agricultural Innovation Agenda.

This additional investment in the Victoria Hub, will enable the Hub to use its unique team of four universities, five farming/industry groups, and Agriculture Victoria to catalyse agricultural innovation in Victoria and beyond.

The Innovation Hub will drive research, development, extension, adoption and the commercialisation of new agricultural innovations in each of the four National Agricultural Innovation Priorities:

  1. Australia is a leading trusted exporter of premium food and agricultural products by 2030
  2. Australia will champion climate resilience to increase the productivity, profitability and sustainability of the agricultural sector by 2030
  3. Australia is a world leader in preventing and rapidly responding to significant pests and diseases through future-proofing our biosecurity system by 2030
  4. Australia is a leading adopter, developer, and exporter of digital agriculture by 2030

The Hub’s interim Co-Director, Professor Ruth Nettle said the Hub is excited to be leading this agricultural innovation agenda for Victoria, given the ‘powerhouse’ of innovative capacity in the Hub partnership.

“We have already established expert teams to develop and implement projects in each of the four innovation priorities based around our university and AgVic partners, with our regional nodes – ‘our boots-on-the-ground’ – participating in each of these projects,” Prof. Nettle said.

“We are looking forward to expanding our remit beyond drought resilience and preparedness, to help drive the commercialisation of new technologies and enable the on-farm adoption of useful innovations in these four areas.”

“We want to further build those connections between researchers, farmers, scientists, investors, agribusiness and technologists to unlock the potential of the agricultural system across supply chains.”

The Victoria Hub has received this funding until June 2023, to establish the business case for sustaining ongoing innovation investment in the four priority areas.

In a separate allocation of new funding, the Victoria Drought Hub has also received a further $1.125 million for the recruitment of adoption officers, who will work with local farmers and communities to use the relevant tools, knowledge and support provided by the Hub to support future drought resilience and preparedness.

“The adoption officers will be placed with our five regional nodes and at our Dookie headquarters, where they will be best placed to target their efforts to what’s needed by farmers, land managers, and communities in their regions,” Prof. Nettle said.

The recruitment process for the new adoption officers is expected to begin immediately.