AgriFutures Australia is the new name for Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC), but it’s much more than a name change.
It represents months of research and discussion with stakeholders and it is a name that reflects a significant change. We’re looking ahead and are firmly focused on our goal – to grow the long-term prosperity of rural industries and communities through research, innovation, and developing human capacity and leadership.
Our new strategy focuses on four key areas: people and leadership, national challenges and opportunities, growing the profitability of our rural industries, and establishing emerging industries.
This means our focus is on: attracting talented people into the agriculture sector and building the skills of emerging leaders; identifying and addressing challenges and opportunities that are common across rural sectors; delivering value through profitability improvements to our levied rural industries; and establishing potential emerging rural industries.
So why is a new approach, and a new name, necessary? The short answer is because Australian agriculture has changed, and it continues to change rapidly in the face of challenges and opportunities.
Challenges such as a hungrier world where population growth will drive up demand for food and fibre, information empowered customers who will expect more from their food in terms of health benefits, provenance and sustainability, and the reshaping of agriculture’s risk profile in the face of globalisation and climate change.
We know that doing great research is just the start. What’s more important is the point at which a farmer does something different because of the research. That’s where the return on investment happens.