WA businesses pitch for agtech funds
Ag-tech devotees from around the world converged on Melbourne this week to participate in evokeAG, with the two-day event offering a taste of the food and farming of the future.
Joining the conversation were five WA businesses on the hunt for information and, ultimately, investors.
With interests ranging from grain production to hemp, those behind WA start-ups SWAN Systems, MIRRECO, Laconik, Mapizy and ManukaLife were given a helping hand by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to build up their knowledge of the future and spruik their wares at evokeAG.
DPIRD trade and investment executive director Liam O’Connell said the use of technology in modern farming practices was growing.
“The State’s proximity to growing demand from Asia and the quality of our natural resources offer a competitive advantage for our agriculture and food trade, particularly our higher quality value-add products,” he said.
Members of a sixth WA business, Livestock Pricing, also headed to evokeAG thanks to its participation in AgriStart’s Harvest 2.0 Accelerator program.
Mr O’Connell said the delegation gained valuable exposure for their products by attending evokeAG, which attracted experts from around the world keen to put investment and partnership opportunities on the table.
The event allows start-ups to not only pitch their wares to delegates, it also gives innovative thinkers an opportunity to hear direct from farmers and industry bodies about the issues that are affecting the profitability and future of agriculture in Australia.
DPIRD investment lead Susan Hall said agtech was an exciting area of development.
“We were enthusiastic about providing an opportunity to get our successful delegates in front of an engaged industry and investor audience,” Ms Hall said.
The five businesses took part in a a state-wide expression of interest process, with the DPIRD granting each a package of up to $1500 to attend evokeAG.
Founded in 2016, SWAN Systems aims to help irrigators better manage their water and nutrient use via a specially designed web-based tool, while MIRRECO claims it is helping to build the hemp industry “from the ground up” with its processing machines.
Laconik provides grain growers with the technology to calculate nitrogen rates required for targeted areas of crop and Mapizy’s agriculture platform InFarm uses combined mobile phone, drone and satellite images to quantify natural weeds, pests and crop diseases.
ManukaLife develops high-grade Manuka plantations for products developed for the medical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and nutraceutical industries.
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