The target has proven instrumental in kick-starting a national dialogue on the support needed across the system to enable Australia’s rural industries to reach their full potential.
In striving towards accelerated sector growth and the NFFs’ target, nine Rural Research and Development Corporations (RDCs) commissioned ACIL Allen Consulting to unpack the drivers of change and risk, and map those against priority investment areas.
The research project, Agriculture – a $100b sector by 2030, evaluated the current trajectory of Australia’s food and fibre industries and then identified pathways to achieve accelerated growth.
The work determined that the sector requires a growth rate of 3% year-on-year to reach the $100 billion target–double the current trend. ACIL Allen Consulting also established a baseline projection which estimated a farm gate value of $84.3 billion by 2030, $15.7 billion below the NFF target.
The report advocated that delivering step change is key to driving the sector forward, rather than relying on small productivity gains and a culture of ‘learning to do things better’.
It suggested RDCs need to think outside the square and explore opportunities such as emerging industries and new technologies to help fill the value gap and drive real growth for the sector.
The analysis highlighted the positive impact that adoption of research and development, and transformative technologies has had on accelerating productivity gains over the last 20-30 years. However, it also cautioned that these gains had already been factored into the baseline projection.
Looming risks around climate variability, water, biosecurity, regulation and consumers, suggests the sector is in for a bumpy ride as it nears the 2030 target deadline.
John Harvey, AgriFutures Australia Managing Director said the NFF should be congratulated for ‘rallying the troops’ and kick-starting the conversation on how the sector can better deliver impact to shift the needle on sector growth.
“The report findings should be viewed as a blueprint for RDCs and others to prioritise and inform investment decisions. AgriFutures Australia is working closely with the RDCs and the NFF to ensure we achieve alignment in priority investment and action areas.”