Australian agriculture needs to be digital and data-ready to unlock its full potential according to a new report by Griffith Law School’s Associate Professor Leanne Wiseman and Associate Professor Jay Sanderson from the University of the Sunshine Coast..
“Digital agriculture is transforming agri-food networks, and new technologies have been introduced and are embedded in many parts of the agri-food supply chains,’’ Dr Wiseman said.
“From GPS-enabled tractors, drones, sensors and other date-driven devices, producers and farmers have access to a vast array of data to help measure performance, and make better informed decisions and increase efficiency.”
“The absence of clear and consistent data governance within Australia’s rural industries has the potential to expose Australian producers to threats to their privacy, security and safety of their agricultural data.”
She said there was an urgent need for a genuine two-way dialogue between agri-businesses and Australian producers around who controls and accesses agricultural data.
“This will facilitate a willingness to supply and share agricultural data. To achieve this, third parties and agri-businesses should ensure that their terms governing data are more transparent and available, and that this is clearly communicated to producers.”
The Legal Dimensions of Digital Agriculture in Australia, one of six technical reports produced as part of the Accelerating Precision Agriculture to Decision Agriculture research project launched by the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud, earlier this month, also recommended the development of an Australian Agricultural Data Governance Strategy and a collaborative Data Management Collaborative Working Group.
The Accelerating Precision Agriculture to Decision Agriculture project was funded by the Commonwealth Government’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources under the Federal Government’s Rural R&D for Profit program and all 15 Rural and Development Corporations (RDCs), led by CRDC.