Thursday 21st November marked Australia’s third National Agriculture Day; a day which provides Australians with an opportunity to celebrate all the good things happening in the farming community. The day is used to urge people from all walks of life to recognise and reflect on the efforts of Australian farmers who produce clean and safe food and fibre. Although a lot of regions are experiencing and managing drought conditions, it remains apparent farmers contribute immensely to the Australian identity and the broader economy. With this in mind, we thought it fitting to take a deeper dive into Australia’s agricultural sector and its contribution to the economy.

First, let’s consider the role agriculture plays in Australia’s identity.  Throughout the 1950’s Australia ‘rode on the sheep’s back’. Those who grew the wool had come to symbolise and epitomise what it was to be Australian. Wool was our main export until the 1960’s and for over a century the agricultural industry drew pastoral workers and professionals to regional Australia which helped build many country towns. Although the majority of Australia’s population reside in metropolitan areas and aren’t exposed to rural landscapes and communities, research shows the majority of Australians still believe agriculture significantly contributes to the Australian way of life. 

Now to the numbers. The gross domestic product (GDP) is a measure of national income and output for a given country’s economy. GDP in Australia was 1432.20 billion US dollars in 20181. At the farm gate, the agricultural sector contributes about 3% to Australia’s total GDP with the gross value of Australian farm production contributing $65 billion annually2. Each Australian farmer produces enough food to feed about 600 people – 150 at home and 450 overseas. They produce almost 93% of Australia’s daily domestic food supply3

It’s not only Australians who benefit from our agricultural industry. Our food and agricultural products, including protein, dairy, wool, cotton, cereals, fruit, sugar and vegetables (the list goes on), have a reputation for being clean, green and safe, which makes them a highly valued exportable commodity. We export close to 80% of what we produce which returns over $40 billion annually4. The value of these exports depends largely on conditions in overseas markets and can vary from year to year. Nonetheless, it’s a massive contribution to our nation’s economy.

The old adage ‘you need to spend money to make money’ is quite fitting in this instance. Agricultural production on this scale and of this quality requires significant access to capital. Agfarm’s input finance program, Agfarm Accelerate, assists broadacre farmers throughout Australia produce to their maximum capacity and quality, and contribute to Australia’s GDP. The program is designed to accompany traditional banking facilities and acts as a line of credit to purchase cropping inputs at participating rural merchandisers. For more information on Agfarm’s financial services and how they can assist your business, call your regional manager on the contact details below.

Reid Seaby WA Regional Manager | 0439 625 853

Kate Phillips SA Regional Manager | 0438 128 472

Anthony Hall QLD & NSW Regional Manager | 0400 873 777

James Ryssenbeek VIC Regional Manager | 0447 743 556


References

1. World Bank – https://www.worldbank.org/
2. Australian Industry Report – www.industry.gov.au/industryreport
3. National Farmers Federation – https://www.nff.org.au/farm-factshtml
3. National Farmers Federation – https://www.nff.org.au/farm-factshtml

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