TropAg draws global crowd

6 January 2020

‘The heat is on agriculture and food production in the tropics. With the global population expected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050, the greatest pressure will be experienced in the world’s tropical zone – home to half the world’s population.’

This message set the tone for - over 800 delegates from 43 different countries who attended the third TropAg conference held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) in November 2019.

The TropAg conference was the brainchild of Professor Robert Henry and his team from UQ's Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation who developed the conference in conjunction with the BCEC’s international conventions team.

Held biannually, the first conference was held in 2015, again in 2017 and most recently in November 2019.  When planning for TrpoAg first started there was no other agricultural conference showcasing global tropical research and development in Australia. A significant factor in the success of the TropAg conference series is that The University of Queensland is a world leader in agriculture and food research.

Professor Henry says Australia and particularly Queensland have a unique place in the world when it comes to agriculture. “We are one of the very few developed countries in the world in a tropical environment. Our geographic location gives us an advantage and puts at the forefront of research. We have the capability, the expertise and the investment.” 

Professor Henry said the hot issue of the conference was climate change and the insecurity of the world’s food supply, which he believes has prompted greater investment in agriculture in Australia.  “We are seeing more interest in investment in agriculture across the board. In 50 years’ time people will still be eating and the world’s population will still be growing.’

The focus was also on technology in Agriculture – technology that helps produce food and aids food security.

The strength of the local science and a stellar line-up of what Professor Henry describes as inspirational key note speakers, added to the success of the conference. “Brisbane is the logical place to hold this conference and the international reputation of the meeting is growing. The BCEC team is crucial to the success of this event. The venue is convenient, flexible and the conference can grow with the venue.”

Professor Henry expects the conference to continue for many years attracting increasing numbers of delegates and has not ruled out the conference becoming an annual event.

The next TropAg conference will be held in Brisbane from 8-10 November 2021. 


  • 820 delegates from 43 countries
  • $1.5 million in economic benefit generated for Brisbane Qld (source: BCEC and Brisbane Marketing)
  • 7 keynote speakers
  • 240 symposia presentations
  • 280 posters presented
  • 25 scholarships to international delegates from the Asia Pacific and Africa
  • 35 sponsors and exhibitors

CONTACT: Gail Sawyer, BCEC Marketing and Communications Manager, T. +61 7 3308 3023 , M. +61 439 733 509, or E. W.

The Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) is a research institute of The University of Queensland (UQ), supported by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.