Business

Australian agriculture keeps about 60 million people fed

THE Australian government's recently released Agricultural Competitiveness Green Paper is filled with compelling farming figures.

The most surprising one is that China already has four times more cattle than we have in Australia.

The paper also reports that while Australia produces only about 1% of the value of the world's agricultural output, our nation's agricultural productivity feeds about 60 million people - double the Australian population.

With this high level of export productivity and the cost of buying fresh food locally, you may wonder why farmers across the country don't all have at least one Rolls-Royce stashed in the shed.

The truth is that during the year 2000 only 10% of the retail value of agricultural production was being returned to the farm gate.

This was down from 50% in the 1950s and 85% in the early 1900s.

For exporting farmers, the high Australian dollar has also been keeping downward pressures on farm gate returns.

Job seekers may be interested in the green paper's forecast that older livestock and crop farmers are retiring at a rate that will create about 100,000 job openings in the industry by 2025.

On the Northern Rivers, 50% of agricultural business employees are 55 or older.

* KIMMAREE THOMPSON is the CEO of Regional Development Australia (Northern Rivers), a non-profit organisation funded by Federal and State governments as a catalyst for regional growth and innovation.

Topics:  agriculture, farming




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'All I heard when my baby cried was ‘you’re a terrible mum'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images of Katie Dykes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

KATIE'S battle with PND is not unlike many mothers.

'I just thought all mums got no sleep'

MELTOPIA battled PND with all four of her children.

4 survival tips for mummas heading back to work

The few reminders every working mum needs to read.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Byron Bay Viking supports Seth Sentry

TOUR: The Viking N3 has been announced as a local support for Seth Sentry in Brunswick Heads on July 1.

Byron's The Viking N3 will be supporting Seth Sentry in Brunswick

Rainforest restoration celebrating 30 years at Rocky Creek Dam

From Left: Anthony Acret (Rous Water), Kelvin Davies (Rainforest Trust Australia), Dr Tony Parkes (Big Scrub Landcare) and Stuart Anderson (Flow™ Hive) at the recent launch of the 18th Annual Big Scrub Rainforest Day.

Launch of 18th annual Big Scrub Rainforest Day

Solution to problem waste in the garage

FREE DISPOSAL: Community Recycling Centres came online today at Ballina and Byron Bay where residents can drop off, for free, paint, gas bottles, oils and batteries. At the Ballina centre (from left) Ballina Waste Management Centre's Jenny Hellyer, Ballina mayor Cr David Wright, Ben Franklin MLC and North East Waste's Karen Rudkin.Photo Graham Broadhead / Ballina Shire Advocate

Community Recycling Centres were opened at Ballina and Byron Bay.

Latest deals and offers

Preview of $10 million Lismore office block

Bennett Construction director Darryl Piper discusses work on the new four-storey...

Hey Mumma - Working mums vs fulltime mums

Working mums vs full time mums

Hey Mumma - Working mums vs fulltime mums

Clive Palmer to re-open refinery

Clive Palmer on ABC radio.

Clive Palmer talks about his achievements, election chances and re-opening the...

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%

DIY: How to build a backyard fire pit

DIY stars and Weekend magazine columnists Ayden and Jess Hogan.

Would you build this for your backyard?