Climate change, natural disasters, changing consumer trends, digital disruption, population growth and the pandemic, all reinforce the need to pivot the Agrifood sector in this rapidly changing landscape.

Where and how we grow, produce, harvest, distribute and consume food must adapt to ‘new Ag normal’ for food and nutritional security of 10 billion people on planet earth by 2050.

Protected cropping uses controlled facilities for growing plants, regardless of external conditions and climatic extremes.

Protected cropping is a multidisciplinary platform requiring input from biology, chemistry, material science to probe properties of glasses or plastics used in greenhouses; solar, thermal and hydrological engineering; design, engineering, architecture; automation; data modelling and sustainable and strategic business models.

Protected cropping offers the opportunity to create a sustainable future for the agriculture industry in Australia.

UQ research partners on the protected cropping initiative include the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, Institute for Molecular Biology, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, Centre for Solar Biotechnology, PVC Research Infrastructure, School of Business, and UQ Faculty of Medicine.

Protected cropping is a major component of AgriFood Connect, which is aimed at attracting $50 million of Federal Government funding to return an estimated $20.3 billion in the agri-food sector.

Protecting cropping is also a Global Change Research Program supported by GCI.


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