Australian farmers rebounding strongly

The Australian Bureau of Statistics 2020-2021 Agricultural Census results released today confirm the strength of the sector rebounding from drought and managing the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ABS census recorded 87,400 agricultural businesses, continuing a trend of stable farm numbers since 2014-2015. 

The Census also showed the gross value of production increased 17 per cent in 2020-21 from the previous year.

The value of Australian agriculture has only continued to grow with the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) reporting the sector to reach $83 billion in 2021-22 and forecast to reach $80 billion in 2022-23.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Murray Watt said the Albanese Government will do its part to support a stronger, more productive, more sustainable agriculture sector.

“I’m excited to represent Australian agriculture in the national parliament—it’s an incredible sector that is so important to the nation,” Minister Watt said.

“Producers have enjoyed strong production conditions over a number of years to realise these record highs.

“But we can’t rest on our laurels because it’s inevitable that drought will return and it’s a fundamental principle that you plan for drought when it’s raining.”

The Albanese Government will be working closely with producers to ensure that Australia is prepared and has an effective approach in place in the medium term.

The Government is also committed to working closely with industry on the unprecedented threats facing the agriculture sector—not least evolving biosecurity risks and the current threat of foot and mouth disease.

“We are responding with the strongest biosecurity response this country has ever seen at Australian borders,” Minister Watt said.

“The Albanese Government is committed to delivering our election commitment to establish long-term, sustainable funding that will go directly to strengthening the biosecurity system.”