Nuffield Australia 2017 Scholarship winner
Matthew Fealy from Mareeba in Far North Queensland, receives a 2017 Nuffield Scholarship supported by Woolworths. He will investigate how the use of robotics in horticulture has the opportunity to revolutionise the industry.
Matthew has only recently made a career change into horticulture. He was a senior manager at a global travel agency for over a decade before taking on his current role as farm manager for a 153-acre family farm that produces mangoes, avocados and Tahitian limes for the Australian and export markets.
He believes that that the industry has significant labour costs and a dwindling labour supply, yet has little or no automation of repetitive tasks.
“Robotics, automation and mechanisation will not only alleviate the impending labour problem, it can also help improve profits and yield through better farm management practices,” he said.
“I see a (near) future where we can utilise advanced probes to facilitate precise fertilising and watering along with cutting-edge camera technology to assess tree health, crop and harvest forecasting, as well as maturity testing.”
As an active member of his local growers’ association, and a board member of the Australian Mango Industry Association (AMIA), Matthew continues to demonstrate commitment to the success of horticulture in Australia into the future.
“I have four children who I want to be involved in an exciting, rewarding, profitable horticulture industry. If there is a way I can help the industry, it is very much in my best interests to make it happen.”
The awarding of this scholarship will enable him to attend Automatica – International Trade Fair for Automation and Mechatronics in Germany. Matthew will also visit farms using robotics in Israel, the Netherlands and Spain. Visits to the USA and Japan will also take place.
Location: Mareeba, Queensland
Mobile: 0402 412 471
Returning Scholar presentation:
Matthew Fealy is sponsored by: