Media Release

Agrifood demand set to boom in India

26 November 2014

Agriculture Minister, Barnaby Joyce, today described growing agrifood demand in India as a powerful opportunity for the Australian agriculture sector – with the real value of agrifood consumption in India projected to rise by 136 per cent between 2009 and 2050.

Minister Joyce made the comments following the recent visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the release of a new analysis of India’s food demand by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), What India Wants.

“I was privileged to meet with Prime Minister Modi on his recent Australian visit and we both agree that the true potential of the relationship between our two countries has not been realised,” Minister Joyce said.

“India has been one of the world's fastest growing economies over the past twenty years, in part reflecting an increase in the openness of their economy to global markets.

“Driven by strong income growth, particularly in urban centres, combined with India’s continued population growth, youthful demographic and increasing urbanisation, consumption of agrifood products is projected to more than double between 2009 and 2050.

Minister Joyce said ABARES projects the real value of agrifood consumption in India would rise to US$709 billion (in 2009 US dollars) by 2050, driven largely by greater quantities of food demanded.

“Assuming current agricultural policies are maintained, the value of imports to India (in 2009 US dollars) of vegetables is projected to rise to $US47 billion by 2050, fruit to US$58 billion, dairy products to US$13 billion and wheat to US$15 billion,” Minister Joyce said.

“That reflects a rise in fruit consumption of 246 per cent, while vegetable consumption is projected to rise by 183 per cent and dairy products by 137 per cent over the same period.

“Australian agriculture has an unparalleled reputation as a reliable supplier of premium quality produce across the world.

“There are very clear opportunities for our farmers to establish Australia as a serious competitor in these markets, with benefits that will flow back to the farmgate for many years to come.

“We will be working very closely with India to develop a genuine trading partnership that works to the benefit of both countries in the future. Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Prime Minister Modi have established the foundations for bilateral trade talks to regain momentum, and I am confident that the Coalition Government will work hard to achieve real progress on enhancing trade cooperation in the year ahead.”

What India wants: Analysis of India’s food demand to 2050 is available on the ABARES website: agriculture.gov.au/abares/publications.