Page 12 - National Poultry Newspaper
P. 12

Tough choices to reach $100 billion by 2030
MAKING tough choices will be central to Aus- tralian agriculture’s continued success, ac- cording to ABARES executive director Dr Steve Hatfield-Dodds’ opening address at the 2019 ABARES Outlook Conference in Canberra recently.
Dr Steve Hatfield-Dodds listed five key areas vital to meeting the National Farmers’ Federation’s goal of lifting the value of Australian agricultural production to $100 billion by 2030.
“We must recognise that achieving the best outcomes for agriculture, our rural communities and the national economy will require some tough
choices,” Dr Hatfield- Dodds said.
“Examples include en- suring agriculture is at- tractive to workers and investors; harnessing innovation to boost per- formance; promoting on- farm resilience and risk management; persisting with water reforms and respecting and respond- ing to evolving consumer expectations.
“We should be mind- ful of the substantial and sometimes painful re- forms that underpinned the growth achieved in recent decades – and that favourable global prices account for 90 percent of past trend growth.
“Each of the five areas bring both opportunities
and threats, but support the theme of enhancing the wellbeing of produc- ers, consumers, regions and the nation to increase prosperity.
“The sector is well aware of the need to at- tract workers, but actions are always going to speak louder than words in en- suring a positive experi- ence for farm workers.
“We need to continue to harness innovation.”
Priorities include reduc- ing fragmentation and improving collaboration on ‘whole of sector’ chal- lenges, greater clarity and consistency around contributions and benefit sharing as well as achiev- ing faster adoption and commercialisation of suc-
cessful research.
“Our farms must remain
resilient and manage risk effectively,” Dr Hatfield- Dodds said.
“Australian farmers manage very significant variability, including vari- able climate and volatile commodity prices.
“We must persist with water reforms.
“The view that healthy industries require healthy catchments has not al- ways been visible in re- cent debate and finger pointing, which is often framed in terms of trade- offs between ‘industry’ or ‘development’ versus the ‘environment’.
“It is evident that achiev- ing the NFF aspirations for agriculture requires
sustainable management of Australia’s scarce water resources.
“Respecting and re- sponding to evolving con- sumer expectations may well be both the greatest opportunity, and threat, facing Australian agricul- ture.”
Producers are particu- larly exposed where real or perceived poor behav- iour by a few players can tarnish the reputation or market access of an entire sector.
“Assessing these risks and opportunities requires industry to understand how consumers think and feel, even when this is confronting,” Dr Hatfield- Dodds said.
“Australian agriculture
has many advantages, and a track record of good per- formance, underpinned by tough choices.
“But to thrive and grow – to meet $100 billion – some difficult decisions will need to be made.”
Read the ‘Tough choices for Australian agriculture
to reach $100b target’ article published in The Conversation at thecon
All ABARES Outlook 2019 presentations will be published progressively on the ABARES website at ares/outlook
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Page 12 – National Poultry Newspaper, March 2019
Dr Steve Hatfield-Dodds Photo:

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