ABARES launches Insights series into Australian agriculture

19 October 2018

National agricultural debate, public policy and community understanding will benefit from a series of short, highly accessible insights into Australian agriculture launched by ABARES today.

ABARES Executive Director, Dr Steve Hatfield-Dodds, said the aim is to support discussion of agricultural industries in Australia by improving access to existing evidence and expertise.

“Agriculture plays a fundamental role in the Australian economy and community—it is important that anyone and everyone can get the information they need to understand the issues,” Dr Hatfield-Dodds said.

“That’s why we’re launching ABARES Insights.

“Today’s first release—Snapshot of Australian agriculture—lays out the framework for a broader awareness of the achievements and challenges underpinning modern Australian agriculture.

“The focus is on the role of agriculture in the broader economy, trends in production, industry structure, exports, productivity and risk management.

“On industry structure and productivity, one of the interesting findings suggests that if all farms had the same output per hectare as the highest performing 20 per cent of farms, the total value of broadacre agricultural output would be about 18 per cent above current levels and farm income would be about 24 per cent above current levels.

“Future ABARES Insights will provide context for a range of important industry issues and complement our current analytical reports and commodity forecasts.

Snapshot of Australian agriculture is available online: agriculture.gov.au/snapshot

Fast Facts

Australian agriculture accounts for:

  • 58 per cent of Australian land use (385 million hectares, excluding timber production) and 59 per cent of water extractions (9,435 gigalitres used by agriculture in 2015–16).
  • 14 per cent of goods and services exports in 2016-17.
  • 2.7 per cent of value added (GDP) and 2.5 per cent of employment in 2016–17.

Global agricultural demand is growing very strongly:

  • Exports to Asia increased 115 per cent to $31 billion in the 20 years to 2017–18 and accounted for 58 per cent of the total value of agriculture, forestry and fisheries exports.
  • China is Australia’s single largest export market for agriculture, forestry and fisheries at $14 billion in 2017–18, seven times larger than they were in 1998–99.
  • Asian demand is projected to double between 2007 and 2050, providing opportunities for exporters of high value, high-quality agricultural and food products.
Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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