Leading agriculture scholars have met in the Darwin to share innovations and research as part of the Nuffield Australia National Conference.
Darwin Convention Centre General Manager, Janet Hamilton said the importance of sharing knowledge and supporting innovative thinking are key outcomes we want all conferences to be able to achieve.
“To host the Nuffield Australia National Conference in Darwin recognises the prospects of the north and the opportunity to further develop the agriculture industry,” she said.
The 2017 conference brought together over 300 primary producers, investors and industry experts from a wide cross section of sectors and regions from Australia and overseas.
“Nuffield scholarships provide unique opportunities to the new pioneers of agriculture to investigate technological advances around the world. The scholarship in itself is a once-in-a-lifetime experience but the benefits continue beyond the tour with a shift in the approach to learning, sharing and leading for the broader development of the industry” said Jodie Dean, CEO of Nuffield Australia.
In addition to the two days of sharing knowledge, conference delegates spent time on regional tours seeing first hand primary production in Northern Australia. There was also a post conference opportunity to visit beef, barramundi, tropical fruit and crocodile farms.
The theme of the conference ‘New Horizons’ set the scene for the discussions and presentations lead by guest speaker Gina Rinehart, Executive Chairman of the Hancock Prospecting Group and S. Kidman and Co. Rinehart spoke of the need for new research and integration of new technologies to the industry to continually improve efficiencies, safety and cost competitiveness.
Luke Bowen, General Manager of Northern Australia Development and Trade, said “Darwin is the capital of the north of Australia and has strategic role to play in the expansion of our export industry into the fast growing Asian economies. Investment and development in the north are fundamental to the prosperity of Australia with over 50 per cent of Australian exports coming from the region.”
The potential importance of the north for the agriculture industry is being safeguarded by a new $8 million biosecurity hub being built in Darwin to protect against foreign pests and diseases, a joint project by the Australian and Northern Territory Governments.