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The impact of climate change on Australian agriculture may ease in the future, but the industry is facing massive digital disruption.
This is AgriFutures forecast Future forces report, which examines the challenges the Australian agricultural sector could face over the next 10 years.
In one scenario, the food industry may have to grapple with viral disinformation campaigns and increasing digitization.
In another, farmers may in the future turn to vertical farming, regenerative agriculture and renewable energy to alleviate the challenges climate change poses to agriculture in Australia.
So what could investors in ASX agricultural stocks expect in the future? We will take a look.
What does the future of Australian agriculture look like?
The AgriFutures report looked at several scenarios that could be a possible future for the Australian agricultural industry.
One is that climate change will peak and Australian agriculture will be forced to adapt or leave.
Vertical agriculture, automation, renewables, and carbon sequestration all come into play in this idea.
Such an adaptation is accompanied by a diversification of the sources of income for farmers. Farmers could turn to selling surplus renewable energy and carbon credits to finance their livelihoods.
The report also raised the possibility of automated fishing operations.
These could involve satellites with microchips implanted in fish to track catches. They could also allow consumers to buy wild fish before or during capture, without going through the intermediary.
Both scenarios will see major disruptions in the Australian agricultural scene.
As such, we may start to see some interesting announcements from agricultural companies listed on ASX 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, successful digital business campaigns could become the new normal.
Consumers may soon be able to trace their food from the paddock to the plate, to the genetic lines of their burgers.
While it sounds exciting, the report does raise the possibility that consumers are investing in misinformation. Such misinformation could – for example – claim that certain genetic lines of cattle are better for the diet and lifestyle of Australians.
This misinformation could mean that ASX-listed agriculture and food companies need heavy media and marketing teams to tackle the misinformation created by consumers and market competitors.
In addition, future consumers may be able to take a more active role in food manufacturing. An example could be the possibility of ordering products to be grown or made to measure.