Its time to invest in agriculture

Agriculture and regional NSW have significant potential to grow and to drive economic recovery from the fiscal blow of COVID-19, but a shortfall in investment threatens their ability to do so.

A report released today by AgriFutures Australia says the national sector will need to find $87 billion in new investment this decade to reach $100 billion in output by 2030.

NSW Farmers President James Jackson said that as a key player in the national pursuit of $100 billion, the NSW farming sector will need certainty to thrive and to meet its own goal of $30 billion by 2030.

“We know there are a number of constraints on our ability to reach $30 billion by the end of the decade. One of the main ones is access to capital, both through bank lending and private equity investment”, Mr Jackson said.

“NSW agriculture has a reputation for producing high quality, safe food and fibre. This creates a wealth of opportunity both domestically and globally – we just need to translate that potential into reality.”

“Our success on a global stage will be a key factor in our journey toward $30 billion. Farmers know there is an ongoing need to invest and innovate to expand to new international markets.”

“Constraints on short-term finance, long-term strategies for expansion and supply chain improvements are challenging for farmers.”

Mr Jackson said the farming sector can be bolstered through both direct and indirect investment.

“Certainty for on-farm investment is required to expand commercialisation of research and development”, he said.

“We also need freight and logistic improvements to be an ongoing focus of governments.”

“Critical upgrades to the Newell and Great Western Highways must be prioritised and fast-tracked, along with ongoing investment to improve access to rail and ports. In particular, we need to remove impediments to access to grain terminals through Newcastle and streamline air freight from regional centres.”

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