Peri-urban Farming Project Update


The Smart Farms Small Grant (SFSG) project received a welcomed injection from new insights and research as a result of our partnership with the UTS Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation that again delivered outcomes beyond our expectations.


As part of the UTS new Professional Immersive Experience (PIEX) program, six student teams were assembled to research and interview key agribusiness stakeholders in Sydney’s Peri-urban region. The goal was to tease out key pain points and discuss opportunities stemming from Sydney’s urban expansion, planned new infrastructure and the Aerotropolis. 


Emerging drivers of change including global consumer trends, new technologies, demand for personalised foods and population growth were also considered and generated much interest and debate.


During the PIEX journey the students were introduced to two expert panels comprising representatives from local farming communities, industry groups, local government and Greater Sydney Local Land Services.


The six teams, under the guidance of a UTS Faculty team lead, provided a set of recommendations  and insights that the Project Steering Committee will consider to help determine the focus of the Communities of Practice and workshop series that aim to support Sydney’s successful agribusiness ecosystem.


Snapshot of key insights


  • peri-urban environments and local food production should be celebrated

  • sustainable land management practices impact complex ecosystems (land, people and production)

  • fostering long term relationships and stakeholder engagement is essential

  • maximising knowledge exchange is a priority to preserve peri-urban farming

  • agri-food technology, innovation and simplifying supply chains provide opportunities to improve farming profitability


Next Steps


The Project Steering Committee meets monthly and has just appointed a stakeholder engagement strategist to help deliver the next stage of the project that will:-

  • road test the recommendations

  • set up three Communities of Practice

  • continue to showcase Sydney's Agribusinesses


For more information please contact Julie McAlpin

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