It’s official. Australia’s farming sector is powering our nation’s economy.
Statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) yesterday revealed that agricultural sector growth of 0.2 percentage points had contributed to an overall expansion of 2.4 per cent in Australia’s gross domestic product.
National Farmers’ Federation President Fiona Simson said the figures came as no surprise to her and were a validation of the importance of primary production to Australia’s prosperity.
“When agriculture is doing well - Australia is doing well.”
“As these figures indicate, it's not just our farmers who benefit from positive terms of trade - it is the regional towns they support, businesses along the supporting supply chain and Australians in general.”
Ms Simson said the sector’s growth had been fuelled by improved conditions for most agriculture industries.
“Red meat prices, beef and lamb, are strong with demand from key markets growing as a result of free trade agreements. Free trade agreements have also increased demand for dairy products.
“Wool producers are enjoying buoyant times with the best prices in more than six years and last year’s winter crop harvest was the biggest on record.”
Ms Simson said smaller niche industries such as almonds, hazelnuts and macadamias were also experiencing significant growth.
She said off the back of these compelling figures the NFF would be advocating strongly to see that the sector remains a priority on the Government’s agenda.
“The NFF will continue to advocate to ensure the policy and regulatory environment is as good as it possibly can be to ensure farmers are well placed to benefit from the favourable conditions before them and for agriculture to continue to drive national growth.”