Agriculture is a major contributor to the Australian national economy.
Its 126,000 full-time farmers annually produce $137 billion worth of product, which is 12 per cent of Australia’s gross domestic product. Australian agriculture exports approximately $30 billion worth of product annually and provides 93 per cent of the nation’s domestic food supply.
Agriculture and its related industries support 1.6 million Australian jobs. About 50 per cent of these are in capital cities in flow-on industries, such as processing, packaging, transport and retailing.
Efficiency gains through new technologies and farm management practices have enabled Australian agriculture to stay a step ahead of international competitors.
Annual productivity growth in agriculture has been 2.8 per cent over the past 30 years – far greater than any other Australian industry sector. This is, in large part, driven by research and development, on which we spend about $500 million annually.
The outlook for agriculture in Australia is bright. World food security is a big challenge and Australia is positioned to play an increasing role.
The agriculture industry faces the challenges of adjusting productivity to meet climate change and environmental agendas, meeting the cost/price squeeze from changing world markets and maintaining the service and social fabric of our rural areas.
Meeting these challenges requires a continuing flow of knowledge and expertise across all sectors of the industry.
It’s estimated that Australia needs 2000 agriculture graduates per year to continue to drive agriculture forward.
|Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology||www.aiast.com.au|