The support of our agricultural industries is very crucial, especially at this time of the pandemic. It would be difficult to endure these trying times if the farmers decrease their farming time and system. However, the change in the agricultural system is inevitable. To understand the factors that affect these changes, we give you a list of agriculture hot issues for 2020. This would help us to support the agricultural industry during these transitions.
1. Water and Weather Conditions
Climate change has caused a loss of millions of dollars in the agricultural sector. Storms, increasing temperatures, and natural weather changes lead to various seasons for farmers.
The drying season triggers water shortages all over the country, which farmers have to adapt instantly to maintain or at least increase the production in the midst of climatic irregularities.
For several decades, Australian farmers innovated a cropping system that would uphold the water consumption in farms, which helps agricultural productivity in shape despite the weather changes. Another innovation that leads to continuous maintenance productivity in Australia is the introduction of new crop varieties that can stand draught as well as easier to manage.
2. Agricultural Technology
Australia’s rural regions are far behind agricultural technology and the digital revolution. Water monitoring sensors, network solutions, and any other technologies that would ease the production and harvest process of the farmers are only a few of the resolutions that we all want to make it happen.
Automated harvesting machines, for example, will soon be the norm in the agricultural industry in the coming years. The technology not only focuses on harvesting machines but also on watering the crops and weed spraying.
The innovation’s goal is to boost the production systems, lessen the use of chemicals, and most importantly, optimize the yields of every farmer in Australia.
3. Plant-Based Protein
Plant-based protein is getting popular and in-demand due to the changes in health requirements, religious guides, cultural etiquettes, and dietary reasons. Researches expect that the number of demands will increase in the next few years.
Plant-based products like burgers and sausages achieve the specifications of conventional meat. The consumption can go as high as 4.1 billion by the end of the decade based on CSIRO reports.
4. Manual Workers
Australia’s biggest demand for farmworkers is in the horticulture sector that claims around 96,000 full-time jobs and over 10,000 casual jobs. More foreign workers are being required to cater to the needs of the sector.
The local manpower cannot suffice the needs of the rural areas as more and more people migrate to other countries and never look back at farming.
The current pandemic situation makes the challenge tougher for foreign workers and governments. It is reported that if the manual workers' concerns are not addressed, there is a possibility that the horticulture sector will slowly die.
5. Consumer Needs and Expectations
Food is a basic necessity; but in recent years, the consumer demands food of higher quality. Some consumers do not only rely on adequate food but healthy and good food.
Consumers are now living a healthy lifestyle; hence, the demand for high nutritional content with lesser chemical residues on crops are slowing rising on the market.
Farming is a business. To produce high-quality products with the expected yields, it is quite required that farmers need to invest in technology. This requires innovations from treated seeds, new crop varieties, data-analysis and monitoring systems, and spray machines. Although small-scale farmers might not be able to afford to invest, it is important to learn how to maximize the existing technology to improve the business.