Legislative Council: Wednesday, June 01, 2022


AgTech Growth Fund

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI (Leader of the Opposition) (14:34): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking a question of the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development about agtech.

Leave granted.

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI: The AgTech Growth Fund provides grants of up to $100,000 to incentivise private investment into technology innovations in South Australia's agricultural sector. The latest grant round still has not been finalised, despite the minister advising members in this place on both 4 May and 19 May that she would be doing so as soon as she can and that she looked 'forward to being able to make those announcements'. My questions to the minister are:

1. Is she committed to awarding the current round of agtech grants?

2. Is she committed to the future of the AgTech Growth Fund, with funding to be continued beyond the current financial year?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (14:36): I thank the honourable member for her question. The AgTech Growth Fund is part of the PIRSA agtech program, which is designed to enhance the profitability, productivity and resilience of South Australian primary industries through the adoption of agtech that supports best practice farming. This could be, for example, digital ag software and hardware, smart farm equipment, supply chain technology and others.

With regard to the recent round of the AgTech Growth Fund, I think the honourable Leader of the Opposition has answered her own question. As I have said and as I maintain, I look forward to making those announcements.