08 Jun 2018

Australian Embassy Tokyo joins AGRITECH SUMMIT for the first time

Australian Embassy Tokyo joins AGRITECH SUMMIT for the first time

Three Australian entrepreneurs supporting start-ups to present

11-13 June, Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall

The Australian Embassy Tokyo will participate for the first time in Nikkei Inc’s AG/SUM: Agritech Summit, Japan’s largest meeting of local and international agricultural specialists, cutting-edge farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs. As a part of the Australian Government’s 2018 Australia now program, the Embassy will showcase Australia’s leading agricultural technologies (agritech), and its capacity to address shared agricultural challenges faced by Japan and Australia.

On 11 June, a panel of leading Australian agritech entrepreneurs will share perspectives with AG/SUM delegates on “Australian agriculture aims for global growth: Opportunities for farmers and agriculture sector.” The panel is composed of Tony Mahar, CEO, the National Farmers’ Federation; John Harvey, Managing Director, AgriFutures Australia; and Andrew Lai, co-founder and the Accelerator Director of SproutX. Dr Kazunuki Oizumi, Professor Emeritus, Miyagi University, will moderate the panel at Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall.

With growing international competition and shrinking rural labour forces, a pressing issue for both Japan and Australia is leveraging technology to improve productivity, use fewer resources and increase earnings for growers. Through its participation in AG/SUM, the Australian Embassy Tokyo aims to share perspectives on how Australia is nurturing the agritech sector and how Australian farmers are harnessing technology.

At the exhibition corner located in Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall on 11-12 June, the Embassy will present a virtual reality experience of Aussie Beef in collaboration with Meat and Livestock Australia, showcasing latest Australian technologies. On 12 June, Australian start-up, RealtimeData, which developed the Deck Hand fishery-data collection software, will join AG/SUM’s Pitch Run after beating out start-up competition from around the world.

Event outline


Date: Monday 11 to Wednesday 13 June

Hosted by: NIKKEI Inc.

Venue: Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall (11-12 June), Nihonbashi Life Science Building Edo-zakura dori underground sidewalk



Australian speakers

Tony Mahar

Tony Mahar joined the National Farmers Federation (NFF) as General Manager, Policy and Manager, Economics and Trade in July 2012. In December 2014 Tony was appointed as Deputy Chief Executive Officer and since April 2016 has held the position of Chief Executive Officer.

Tony has outstanding experience in policy development and implementation in the food and agribusiness sectors and has worked extensively with executive level leaders in analysing, developing and influencing key policies and programs relating to industry competitiveness, innovation and sustainability.

His focus at the NFF has included managing economic policy, trade market access advocacy, and competition policy.

Tony’s 20 year history in the public and private agribusiness sector has contributed to his exceptional capacity to lead and work with a range of stakeholders including all levels of industry, government and community organisations on a range of complex issues.

Tony holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Commerce from the University of Sydney, a Masters of Business – Industry Strategy from the Australian National University and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.   http://www.nff.org.au/


John Harvey

John Harvey joined AgriFutures Australia (formally Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation) in May 2016 as Managing Director. He accepted the challenge to set a new, more commercial direction for the organisation.

Mr Harvey aims to make AgriFutures a change agent for transforming existing industries with new technologies and seeding new, high value industries that ensure Australian agriculture continues to grow.

Prior to this appointment, Mr Harvey held various positions at the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) spanning 18 years, including five years as Managing Director.

A graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Mr Harvey was a Director of Australian Crop Accreditation System Limited and a Director of the Value Added Wheat Cooperative Research Centre.

BSc (Rural) Hons (University of New England), Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.   http://www.agrifutures.com.au/


Andrew Lai

Andrew Lai is a co-founder and the Accelerator Director of SproutX, the world’s most active investor in early stage agritech companies. With a $10m follow on fund, SproutX is Asia Pacific’s first agritech dedicated venture capital fund. SproutX currently has 19 active start-up company investments in diverse areas of agriculture which have raised millions in funding and revenue.