Plans to hold a West Coast edition of internationally acclaimed agtech conference EvokeAg have been scuttled, with news organisers AgriFutures Australia in partnership with the Western Australian Government have postponed the event to at least 2022.
AgriFutures Australia managing director John Harvey said the event was postponed in recognition of the unprecedented impact COVID-19 has had on the economy particularly on those businesses and participants who have invested in EvokeAg.
However, Mr Harvey said he believes it is more important than ever to deliver on the original objectives of the conference, providing optimism and enthusiasm to power growth and prosperity within the agrifood innovation system in Australia and the Asia Pacific region.
'It is our priority to maintain the momentum across the agrifood tech sector," he said.
"We are exploring how we can continue to engage with the existing EvokeAg community by providing them with access to content and opportunities to engage on topics that align with the EvokeAg themes of Food, Farm, Future."
Mr Harvey said plans included connecting high profile speakers with the network.
"Our intention is to deliver premium content directly to a local and global audience through high-quality production across video, audio and written online formats," he said.
"We will keep raising the bar and connecting the Asia Pacific region with the brightest minds in the world, and highlighting local talent to this same audience."
Mr Harvey said keeping the industry connected globally through alternative methods was particularly important given travel restrictions.
'We have built a strong foundation from our international delegations and through trade agencies, like Austrade," he said.
"Through high quality online engagement we intend to keep these connections growing."
Western Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development director general Ralph Addis said the department remained committed to supporting the state's dynamic agrifood innovation system and showcasing it to the global community.
"We look forward to EvokeAg bringing together delegates from around the world and across Australia to connect, collaborate and look to the future possibilities of agrifood tech - here in Perth in 2022," he said.