AgriFutures Australia Managing Director, John Harvey calls this story, a conversation starter. John is referring to the future of Australian agriculture and how agriculture should be funded in the future: do we want it to be corporate farms or family farms, or do we want it to be family corporates or something else?
That conversation has begun following the release of the AgriFutures Australia’s funded report, Capital requirements of Australia’s agriculture, fisheries and forestry sector report. Written by Natural Capital Economics, the report identified an additional $7.5 billion in net capital investment per year is needed if the Australian agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector is to achieve the National Farmers’ Federation $100 billion vision by 2030.
Currently a lot of investment that goes into ag is through debt funding and borrowing against equity in the farm. While that model has been successful to-date, to achieve the NFF’s $100 billion vision, there will need to be a more significant increase in investment. The report warns that without a significant increase in private sector and government investment, agriculture would fall well short of its potential economic value.
So what are the options and what are the consequences?
In one of our most thought-provoking podcasts to-date, we explore some of these issues with Jim Binney, Director of Natural Capital Economics and an author of the report. Jim is joined by AgriFutures Australia Managing Director, John Harvey.