AgriFutures National Rural Issues

Australia’s rural industries operate in a complex and dynamic environment, often facing a common set of evolving challenges and opportunities. AgriFutures Australia is uniquely placed to lead cross-sectoral research into rural issues of national and global significance.

A core component of this work is investing in research that informs and improves policy debate via our National Rural Issues Program.

The agricultural sector contributed more than $63 billion to Australia’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016-17, and is now working to achieve a $100 billion contribution by 2030. There are many challenges and opportunities that need to be managed if the sector is to reach that target.

Through our National Rural Issues Program, AgriFutures Australia seeks to directly address barriers to growth and help industry and governments respond to opportunities.

By generating research, information and tools that support an innovative, adaptive and valuable agricultural sector, we develop research programs that span rural issues such as:

  • Trade policy
  • Markets and consumers
  • Technology and agricultural innovation
  • Animal welfare
  • Skills and people (capacity building and leadership)
  • Workplace health and safety
  • Regulation and tax
  • Resource competition
  • The image of agriculture.

Knowing that problems are better answered working together than alone, collaboration is core to our approach. AgriFutures Australia works with partners such as Rural Research and Development Corporations, National Farmers’ Federation, Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and agribusiness to address these contemporary cross-sectorial issues.

Program objectives

The National Rural Issues Program aims to:

  • Scan for new issues: spot emerging opportunities and challenges early that have the potential to positively or negatively impact rural industries in Australia
  • Support and prepare: support agricultural accelerators, governments and industry to take advantage of opportunities that grow the sector
  • Identify inhibitors: detect barriers to sector growth early, and deliver information that underpins these challenges
  • Support and connect people and issues: facilitate opportunities to promote collaboration on cross-sectoral issues.

Michael Beer
General Manager, Business Development

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