How do we increase productivity on small farms ?
According to the latest statistics*, about a third of all horticulture farms are classified as small farms (i.e. less than 5 hectares). These farms only contribute 2% of Australia's annual total vegetable production. The goal of Digital FarmHand is to improve productivity on small farms in Australia. We are also looking at how this type of technology can also be applied to help farmers in developing countries with trials in the Pacific Islands starting in 2018.
How do we educate the next generation of growers?
There are two major hurdles which we need to overcome in order for technologies like Digital FarmHand to be easily integrated into the farming ecosystem.The first is the digital knowledge divide between urban and rural communities which means that growers may lack the expertise to operate robotic systems; and the second is the declining interest in working in farming. Both of these hurdles can be overcome by developing an appropriate agriculture STEM strategy using robotics and programming as the platforms that excite the next generation of growers.