Posted on: February 1, 2023
Why You Should Be Optimistic About Australian Agriculture
Australia’s $83 billion agricultural industry could feed our nation three times over, according to the Institute of Public Affairs.
That achievement comes despite agricultural risks such as floods, drought, bushfires, fickle consumers, uncertain economic times, supply chain issues and skills shortages.
Amid chaos, the opportunities continue. For instance, agricultural employment is expected to increase by 23% to 315,800 in the three years to 2025, says the Australian Industry Skills Committee. The top occupations in demand are:
- Mixed crop and livestock farm workers
- Other miscellaneous labourers
- Crop farm workers
- Livestock farm workers
- Agricultural, forestry and horticultural plant operators.
According to an ANZ report released in late November, Australia’s agricultural industry is in the strongest globally competitive position in recent history. The Greener Pastures 2 report points to five themes that can spur growth:
- The impact of capital flows
- Sustainability practices
- Green technology
- Improved trade flows
- A more cohesive industry.
As well, professional services company, Deloitte, names agribusiness as one of five industry sectors that will surpass mining for Australian economic growth by 2033.
So where are the next bright spots in the industry?
An appetite for beef, lamb and dairy
Professional services company Deloitte says the drivers for the optimism regarding this trinity are:
- Higher incomes, particularly in Asia, which drives increased demand for protein
- Red-meat production becoming viable on marginal land in Australia, so there’s a low cost to enter and operate in this market
- Our country’s reputation for safety and security.
As well, dairy operations are well-placed to realise spill over effects from innovation because they tend to be large and regionally clustered.
Another highlight is the per-capita consumption of poultry, which is forecast to increase steadily to 47.5kg by 2031.
Opportunities in aquaculture
Another protein source, fish, is a highlight with aquaculture to account for half of all fisheries globally this year. With dwindling wild fish stocks, aquaculture is a sustainable and viable alternative. Darwin is hosting the World Aquaculture Conference in May.
Australia has a lot of land or ocean areas available, but also stringent regulations for waste management, disease and export controls, as well as food safety.
For example, Tasmania’s salmon industry is buoyant, with the state government rolling out a sustainable industry growth plan expected to hit $2B in value within seven years. That includes land-based fish farms, which environmentalists support instead of marine-raised seafood. Find out more about what’s on the plate for the industry in the Apple Isle.
Salmonids are a key driver for Australia’s aquaculture sector, with ABARES predicting the industry will increase by 1.8% to $1.38 billion between now and 2026-27.
Growth in oilseeds
Meanwhile, oilseeds for food and biofuels are experiencing strong demand. Australia’s highly mechanised oilseed production means pricey labour costs aren’t an issue. Another plus is having the land for broad acre cropping and admirable biosecurity.
Consumer backlash against palm oil production, which causes deforestation in tropical zones, creates an appetite for more sustainable temperate oilseeds.
Position your farm for success
Balancing those opportunities with solid risk management is prudent. Typically, farms take out cover for:
- Home and contents
- Farm machinery
- Farm liability
- Farm motor (cover more risks than regular motor vehicle insurance)
- Livestock, fencing, hay insurance
- Business income insurance, farm loss of income.
We can guide you on minimising your risks and suggesting a tailored package of insurance types to best suit your unique operations.