​​​​Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, December 2017

These fact sheets provide current information about how the Australian Government is supporting the agriculture, fisheries and water sectors, and are available for download.


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Horticulture fact sheet PDF 2577 KB

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Australian farmers are renowned for their ability to adapt their production systems to grow safe, premium produce. Australia’s horticulture industry operates in a highly competitive market, both domestically and internationally, and is Australia’s third-largest agricultural sector (behind the meat and grains industries).

In 2015–16 the gross value of production (including table and dried grapes, fruits and nuts, vegetables, nursery, cut flowers, turf and other horticulture products such as coffee, tea and spices) was $9.8 billion. More than 85% of this production is sold into the domestic market. The horticulture industry employs more than 63,000 people.

Building a stronger horticulture industry

The Australian Government is driving a more profitable, resilient and sustainable horticulture sector by:

  • providing dollar-for-dollar matching funds of $49.5 million in 2016–17, alongside the funding already invested by the sector through levies, for research and development (R&D) to advance the horticulture sector
  • providing funding through the Rural R&D for Profit program for a range of projects to improve productivity and profitability, including over $3.4 million to help mango, avocado and macadamia farmers predict fruit quality and yield and monitor the health of their trees using the latest imaging tools and robotics
  • negotiating improved market access arrangements to China for a range of horticulture commodities
  • improving farmer access to seasonal workers by reducing the tax rate to 15% for those on working holidays
  • implementing a comprehensive foreign investment framework for agriculture to improve transparency and give the community and investors confidence in our foreign investment arrangements
  • introducing legislation to establish an ‘effects test’ in national competition law to protect small businesses from the impact of anti-competitive conduct by large, counterparty businesses
  • providing $25.8 million over 4 years to help manage the effects of pest animals and weeds in drought-affected areas and an additional $50 million for managing pest animals and weeds across Australia.

Key Facts

  • Fruit and nuts (exc. grapes) contributed $4.2 billion to the total value of Australian agriculture in 2015–16, up 25% on the previous year.
  • In 2017–18 Australia is forecast to produce 1,387 kilotonnes of potatoes.
  • Horticulture accounted for $260 million of agricultural exports to China in 2015–16.
  • Horticulture made up 16% of farm industry gross value in 2015–16.
  • Fresh produce accounts for roughly 80% of Australia’s horticultural exports.
  • Australian fruit and vegetable producers are increasingly focused on supplying fresh produce to the domestic and export markets. The fresh market offers higher returns than the processing sector.
  • The average Australian ate 8 kilograms of apples and 2.5 kilograms of pears in 2014–15.

Export markets for vegetables, 2015–16


Further information

General inquiry 1800 900 090
GPO Box 858, Canberra ACT 2601 ​

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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