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Research Program

The Australian Farm Institute conducts research projects to provide the evidence base for leading the farm policy discussions which ensure a viable future for the Australian agricultural community.

As the only independent agricultural policy research organisation in the country, the AFI fulfils a vital role. Since 2004, the Institute has been delivering on its purpose of carrying out research into policy issues that impact on farmers, and to promote solutions that maximise their economic and social well-being. The valued supporters of the Institute have contributed to many significant areas of policy development. 

The Institute’s research is overseen by a Research Advisory Committee consisting of experienced senior researchers and academics. The Committee assists in identifying strategic issues, and oversees the quality of research to ensure it is of the highest calibre and is conducted objectively.

Published 16 Aug 2021

Government policies aimed at addressing risk in Australian agriculture have a long and chequered history. While a range of government programs and schemes intended to improve management of financial risks is available to Australian farmers, there is little evidence to indicate that the majority of past policies can be considered…

Published 29 Jun 2021

Developing an Australian Agricultural Sustainability Framework (AASF) The first iteration of the AASF has now been developed for stakeholder feedback (see link above – AASF 1st iteration). As the framework contains many levels of information, this interactive PowerPoint (PPT) presentation has been designed to allow users to ‘dive in’ to areas of interest…

Published 18 Dec 2020

Farmers can suffer significant economic consequences from land use conflict. However, this research shows the most severe impacts from these disputes are largely non-financial. In key informant interviews conducted for the study, mental health, social and physical amenity, industry decline and erosion of trust emerged as the primary impacts of…

Published 1 Feb 2020

While the impact of growth trends in vegetarian and flexitarian consumer segments on animal agriculture is often debated in industry circles, this analysis demonstrates continued and stable demand for traditional (animal-sourced) protein sources. Animal agriculture plays a significant role in the Australian economy and is likely to continue to do…

Published 1 Jun 2019

Climate change is a ‘wicked problem’ representing not only a threat to the Australian agricultural sector’s profitability and international competitiveness but also to our long-term food security and the viability of some regional communities. The agriculture sector is both vulnerable to and partially responsible for the heightened challenges brought about…

Published 1 Aug 2018

Data on the cost of energy to Australian agriculture is surprisingly sparse. The energy debate has thus occurred in an environment where there has been limited ability to estimate the sectoral and value chain impact of energy policy changes. This research compiled available data and estimated the cost of energy…

Published 1 Dec 2017

If Australian agriculture is to remain competitive, partnerships between private- and public-sector agricultural research, development and extension (R,D&E) investors must be fostered. In addition, better data on where agricultural R,D&E investment is occurring will help to direct public funds to ensure critical capacity is maintained.

Published 1 Nov 2017

This report estimates that the unconstrained implementation of decision agriculture would result in a lift in the gross value of agricultural (including forestry and fisheries) production of $20.3 Billion (a 25% increase on 2014–15 levels) and would have major flow-on effects to other parts of the economy. This research will…

Published 1 Oct 2016

Australian farm businesses, unlike farm businesses internationally, continue to rely almost solely on bank debt as their main source of funding, and this reliance is likely to limit the future growth of the sector. The report explores trends in funding and business structures within Australian farming, and examines some of…
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