Australia’s agriculture and food industries are well placed to contribute to the economy’s
future growth given the robust prospects of global food demand and the continuing
high international competitiveness of these sectors. There are, however, important
challenges that call for new ways to exploit agricultural resources and human capital.
The decade-long decline in agricultural productivity growth needs to be overcome,
coupled with the need to accommodate uncertainties about the impacts of climate change
and to respond to societal demands in the areas of sustainable development and animal
welfare. The agro-food sector also needs to absorb exchange-rate and cost pressures
created by the mining boom. To tap additional opportunities of the higher value food
segments, Australian agri-businesses need new knowledge and capabilities to seize
demand signals and value opportunities, particularly from more affluent consumers
in Asian markets.