The National Farmers’ Federation has today released its 2022 Report Card – tracking progress against the industry’s goal to be Australia’s next $100 billion industry.
NFF CEO Tony Mahar said that despite significant seasonal challenges facing farmers, the industry’s performance is holding surprisingly firm.
“The latest figures show a forecast farm output of $82 billion for 2022-23, which would put us above $80 billion for the second year running. That’s back around 4% from last year’s record result,” Mr Mahar said.
However, Mr Mahar conceded the flooding across eastern Australia would likely downgrade that figure, and while weather events were out of anyone’s control, there were other challenges within the Government’s grasp, that if addressed, could propel the sector forward.
“We are staring down serious challenges including a devastating workforce crisis, the prospect of water buybacks recommencing, and repairing transport infrastructure decimated by floods,” he said.
“While nobody can prevent extreme weather, there is action that can happen at all tiers of government to help agriculture, including improving access to workers, keeping destructive water buybacks off the table, and restoring and improving the dilapidated, honeycomb-like road network.
“Of course, global factors will also weigh on this year’s result – with conflict in Ukraine and trade volatility sending commodity markets haywire. This has seen strong price increases for some farm products, but also huge increases in the cost of inputs borne by farmers.
“Through all of this, farmers have done what they do best, and got on with the job of producing food and fibre, but more can and should be done to support the sector’s growth – which is good for the economy and good for household’s bottom lines as they struggle with the cost of groceries.”
Despite the challenges and uncertainty, there have also been positive steps forward for the industry captured in this year’s Report Card.
“The new government’s commitments on telecommunications infrastructure, biosecurity funding, and emissions reduction technologies all propel us towards the goals of the 2030 Roadmap.
“We’re grateful for the Federal Government’s continued support for the industry’s 2030 goal, and continue to have that assurance from senior levels of the Government.”
The Report Card released today at the NFF’s Leaders’ Summit in Parliament House measures the progress agriculture has made against the five pillars in the 2030 Roadmap.
“There is work to be done but we remain unswerving in our pursuit of becoming Australia’s next $100 billion industry, a target that is within reach thanks to the tenacity, vision and commitment of industry and government.”
To view the Report Card, click here.