While most immigration to Australia has been to the cities, in the past decade new immigrants (permanent and temporary) have been directed to regional and rural Australia. This move has been quite successful, with new skilled immigrants generally filling labour shortages and adding to the productivity of the regional and rural economy and re-energizing regional and rural towns. However, the specific impact and contribution of immigrant farmers and growers, as well as permanent immigrant settlers (including refugees) and temporary immigrants (including working holiday makers) on the Australian agricultural industry has not been researched. This study aims to improve the future productivity of the Australian agriculture sector by filling a critical gap in our knowledge of the contribution of immigrant farmers and both permanent and temporary immigrant labour in Australian agriculture, and to inform future policy development in the area. The findings provide insights into how to redress labour shortages across the skill spectrum by tapping into immigration possibilities. The findings also identify culturally ingrained agricultural practices, innovation and transfer of knowledge in production and marketing that are the product of immigrant farming businesses in the Australian agricultural sector. Additionally, the research provides a forum to inform key national, state, regional and local interested parties of the new immigrant farmers, humanitarian immigrants and temporary immigrants in the agricultural sector, to enable a fine-tuning of policies and programmes.
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