Quantum Computing and Aussie-Made Innovation Flagged as Key to Improving Food Sustainability

Quantum Computing and Aussie-Made Innovation Flagged as Key to Improving Food Sustainability

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is set to release a plan soon called Reshaping Australian Food Systems, a roadmap to creating and sourcing the food that we consume more sustainably, ethically, and securely. Federal Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic discussed the roadmap on ABC Radio Melbourne and gave an outline for what it’ll try to achieve – and how technology will play its part.

“Thinking about the impact of climate, and also the impact on climate, in the way that we produce food, and having resilient food systems, and by that I mean, that we can get the food we need, that we do not have supply chain issues in the way that we’ve had them impacted in driving up costs of particular food items. We need to use Australian know-how and R&D to think about how we produce that food,” Husic said on ABC Radio Melbourne.

The minister discussed the idea of robots being used to make more precise doses of pesticides and fertiliser. He also gave quantum technology quite an interesting nod. Earlier in May, Husic launched the Australian roadmap for quantum computing.

“In time, when we crack quantum computing… the way in which we can use greater computing power to develop new fertilisers that are safer, too, and much more sustainable – that, applied to food production, will be important on the longer term as well,” Husic added.

The news comes as part of The Australian’s Global Food Forum, which was held in Melbourne. Husic attended the event as a keynote speaker.

CSIRO’s plan, according to Husic, will address an increase in Australia’s population over the coming years and, as you can expect, higher pressures placed upon food producers. Considering that the cost of some food items has been increasing in Australia (personally, my weekly shop spending has gone up quite a bit), it’s a pretty welcome plan.

“The application of technology, for precise agriculture, better use of chemicals and pesticides, ensuring we come up with new fertilisers as well – that know-how, and working together between business, government and academia to make efficient or accessible… It’s a big challenge, and that’s what we’ve got to think about that long-term,” Husic said.

No indication of when CSIRO’s plan would be released was given, but it’ll surely include some interesting insight into strengthening our food supply.

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