The impact of climate change on Australian agriculture could lessen in the future but the industry faces mass digital disruption.
That’s the forecast from AgriFutures’ Future Forces report, which considers what challenges Australia’s agriculture sector might face over the next 10 years.
In one scenario, the food sector may have to tackle viral disinformation campaigns and increasing digitalisation.
In another, farmers in the future might look to vertical farming, regenerative agriculture and renewable energies to mitigate the challenges climate change places on agriculture in Australia.
So, what might investors in ASX agriculture shares have to look forward to in the future? Let’s take a look.
What does the future of Australian agriculture look like?
The AgriFutures report examined multiple scenarios that could be a possible future for Australia’s agricultural industry.
One is that climate change will reach a peak and Australian agriculture will be forced to adapt or leave.
Vertical farming, automation, renewable energy, and carbon sequestration all come into play in this idea.
With such adaptation, comes a diversification of farmers’ income streams. Farmers might turn to the sale of excess renewable energy and carbon credits to fund their livelihoods.
The report also discussed the possibility of automated fishing operations.
These could involve satellites with microchips planted into fish to track catches. They could also enable consumers to purchase wild fish before or during the catch, skipping the middleman entirely.
Both scenarios will see major disruptions to the Australian agriculture scene.
As such, we might begin to see some interesting announcements come from ASX-listed agriculture companies in the near future.
The report also discusses the likely power of disinformation in the future of Australian agriculture.
As brands become more active on social media, digital hit campaigns on companies could be the new norm.
Consumers might soon be able to trace their food from paddock to plate, right back to the genetic lines of their hamburgers.
While this sounds like exciting stuff, the report talks of the possibility of consumers investing in misinformation. Such misinformation could – for instance – claim that certain genetic lines of cattle are better for Australian’s diets and lifestyles.
This misinformation could mean ASX-listed agriculture and food companies need heavy media and marketing teams to tackle disinformation created by consumers and market competitors.
Further, future consumers may be able to play a more active role in the making of food. An example could be the potential to order products to be custom grown or produced.