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Assessing the Opportunities for Achieving Future Productivity Growth in Australian Agriculture

It is widely recognised that in order for the Australian agricultural sector to remain domestically and internationally competitive, continued and perhaps even accelerated productivity growth is required. The need for domestic competitiveness arises because limits exist to natural and human resources in Australia, and agriculture faces increasing competition from other sectors for access to these. The need for international competitiveness arises due to the emergence of major new agricultural exporting nations that have a much richer natural resource base and much lower cost structures than Australian agricultural businesses, and which are becoming major competitors in global agricultural markets. While the need for productivity growth in Australian agriculture is well recognised, what is less clear is how that productivity growth might be achieved. The current ‘environment’ is not conducive to accelerated agricultural productivity growth, with declining real levels of investment in research and development, the progressive withdrawal of government services to agriculture, and increasing constraints on access to resources. On the other hand, Australian agriculture has a sound track record of innovation and superior productivity performance, and is not limited by some of the institutional and cultural constraints associated with the agricultural sectors of other developed nations. Some of Australia’s leading agricultural researchers were asked to contribute to this report, which explores the scope of the productivity challenge facing Australian agriculture, and seeks to identify specific technologies and initiatives that could realistically assist the sector to attain the levels of productivity growth that are likely to be required in the future. It is hoped that these papers will act as a catalyst for the sector and governments to redouble efforts on a wide range of fronts to tackle Australian agriculture’s future productivity challenge.

Full report, pp. 1-82, November 2012
Australian Farm Institute
Authors: Mullen, J, Tester, M, Goddard, M, Goss, K, Carberry, P, Keating, B, Bellotti, B
ISBN 978-1-921808-23-4 (Print)
ISBN 978-1-921808-24-1 (Web)



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Productivity Growth in Australian Agriculture - Trends, Sources, Performance

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March 2007, pp. 1 - 92 (92 pages)
Publisher: Australian Farm Institute
Author: Mullen, JD & Crean, J
ISBN: 978-0-9803460-1-5


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