The Importance of Agriculture in Australia
According to the National Farmers Federation, there are 140,704 farms in Australia, with 125,594 of these solely dedicated to agricultural production. It is clear that agriculture is an important factor for the Australian economy and the farmers who work hard to harvest top quality produces should be acknowledged for their efforts. Australian farmers produce almost 93% of Australian daily domestic food supply and agricultural produce account for 60% (in volume) in total agricultural production. Agricultural exports earned the country $27.5 billion in 2007/08.
Agriculture has many important linkages with other segments of the economy and the knock on effects of successful agricultural production boosts many sectors. The employment sector is an obvious beneficiary of a strong agricultural system. Agricultural supports the jobs of 1.6million Australians in farming and relating industries, accounting for 17.2% of the national workforce.
The benefits to Australia from agriculture are not all fiscal. Farmers have also led the sustainability surge, leading primary industries in reducing greenhouse gas by 40% between 1990-2006 and placing an important emphasis on Natural Resource Management, Farmers work relentlessly in areas such as weed prevention, pest, land, soil, natural vegetation and water related issues. Australian Farmers also invest heavily in research and development so that they may be a step ahead of international competitors, get the best from the land and contribute to the economy. According to the NFF, Australian Farmers invest $237 million a year in R&D to enable them to stay a step ahead of international competition.
As NFF president David Crombie states “Australians know the resilient nature of our farmers and value the quality of our farm fresh produce”. Australian farmers make important economic and environmental contributions to Australia and are at the forefront of pioneering new technology and practices to aid their efficiency and competitiveness.
Agriculture in Australia continues to be a driving force creating new jobs, boosting the economy and encouraging innovation.
To recognise the achievements of Australian farmers the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) is calling for nominations under its second annual national Innovation in Agriculture Awards, recognising and encouraging excellence in modern farming. The 2010 Innovation in Agriculture Awards Entry Guide – providing details and examples on each Award, the criteria for entry and guidance on application format, is available from the NFF’s National Congress website at: