The AgriFutures Thoroughbred Horses Program invests in research, development and extension (RD&E) projects to improve the welfare of the thoroughbred horse through all stages of its life. The Program supports an efficient breeding system that aims to reduce the average number of serves per pregnancy, increase live foals delivered, and increase the number of foals that are parent-verified as thoroughbreds each year. The Program is funded by AgriFutures Australia through statutory levies paid by thoroughbred breeders and voluntary contributions made by the racing industry. The Program also receives matching funding from the Australian Government.
The purpose of evaluating Program investments is to ensure that the Program is delivering economic benefits and having impact in the thoroughbred horses industry. AgriFutures Australia conducts economic evaluations of its Programs as they near the end of their five-year RD&E cycles. This process provides accountability to the AgriFutures Australia Board, levy payers and Government.
The economic evaluation of the AgriFutures Thoroughbred Horses Program used 13 projects and the impacts from five were valued. Funding for these five projects totalled approximately $2.15 million (present value terms) and produced aggregate total expected benefits of $19.49 million (present value terms). This gave an estimated benefit-cost ratio of 9.1 to 1. When the benefits of the impacts valued ($19.49 million) were compared with the total investment in all projects in the population ($5.7 million), the benefit-cost ratio was 3.4 to 1.
It can be concluded, given the assumptions made in valuing the impacts, that a benefit-cost ratio for investment in Thoroughbred Horses Program projects lies somewhere between 3.4 and 9.1 to 1.