The AgriFutures Rice Program aims to improve the profitability and sustainability of the Australian rice industry with a key focus on water use efficiency and varieties that deliver increased yield and improved eating quality.

Key components of the program

A key component of this program is rice variety breeding to further reduce demand for irrigation water and adapt to a climate that is hotter, drier and more variable.

About the industry

The Australian rice industry is a world leader in production efficiency, water use efficiency and environmental management.

Australia’s climate makes it ideal for the production of high quality medium grain rice and Australian growers produce more rice per hectare than anywhere else in the world. Australian rice achieves premium prices in world markets thanks to our research outcomes.

From paddock to plate, Australian grown rice uses 50% less water than the global average. Water use per hectare continues to decline because of the industry’s commitment to developing high yielding rice varieties that use less water, and the use of world’s best management practices.

With the capacity to produce more than 1 million tonnes of rice/ year, Australian growers play an important role in food security as rice sustains two-thirds of the world’s population.

There are around 1500 farm businesses growing rice in the Murrumbidgee Valley of NSW and the Murray Valley of NSW and Victoria.


The program is funded by statutory levies paid by industry participants. Up to half of program expenditure, including R&D expenditure, is matched by the Australian Government at up to 0.5% of industry GVP.

Industry Advisory Panel

AgriFutures Australia is committed to working with industry to deliver research and development outcomes. We work in partnership with advisory panels to decide on research priorities and to make investment decisions each year.

RD&E plan

The Rice Industry R&D Plan 2016/17-2021/22 builds on previous five-year investment programs. A significant share of the RD&E that underpins the rice industry success has been managed by AgriFutures Australia since 1991. The Australian rice industry is strongly supportive of the RD&E program and its management by AgriFutures Australia.

The plan identifies four key objectives for RD&E:

  • Cross-sectorial research required to achieve the Dry Rice 1.5 t/ML water use efficiency target by 2030.
  • Rice breeding – varieties and quality improvement
  • Farm productivity – crop inputs, crop protection and the farming system
  • Extension, sustainability and human capital.

Program news


Lucinda Staley
Manager, Research – Rice, Export Fodder, Ginger
02 69 236 914 |0448 401 717

Industry Association

About your levy

Australian primary industries that choose to invest in the levies system prescribe the amount of levy or charge applied to a commodity under the Primary Industries (Customs) Charges Act 1999Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Act 1999, National Residue Survey (Customs) Levy Act 1998 and the National Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Act 1998.

Levy and charge revenue can be directed to biosecurity preparedness and emergency plant pest and animal disease responses, residue testing, marketing and research and development. It is the decision of a primary industry to determine the proportion of how a levy or charge is directed to each of these activities.

AgriFutures Australia receives the Research & Development levy allocation to invest in line with the industry objectives of the Five Year Research & Development Plan. Up to half of program expenditure, including R&D expenditure, is matched by the Australian Government at up to 0.5% of industry GVP. The graphs below represent the levy breakdown and the annual Program investment inclusive of levy, government and any third party contributions.

Currently there is no direct investment in Objective 1: Development of an Aerobic Southern Rice System. There are aspects of two rice breeding projects and one farm productivity project that contribute to the objective.

The Levy is collected and distributed via the Department of Agriculture. For more information, visit the Department of Agriculture Water and the Environment website.

View the AgriFuturesTM Rice Program income and expenditure for 2018-19 statement.

 *Financials are accurate as at 1 February 2019 and subject to change.

Related Publications


Final Report Summary: Relating starch structure in rice to its digestibility


Rice Growing Guide: North Queensland


Rice Variety Guide: YRL39 - North Queensland


Rice pests and disease

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