The Australian agriculture sector has increased its investment in research and development (R&D) over the past ten years, contributing to growth in the productivity, competitiveness and sustainability of Australian farms across the country. Executive Director of ABARES; Dr Jared Greenville said the rise in funding was a welcome sign for the country’s agricultural sector.
What were the ABARES R&D investment findings?
“Total agricultural research and development funding in 2020-21 was $2.20 billion, with an average annual growth rate of 4.35% from 2011-12 to 2020-21,” Dr Greenville said. According to Dr Greenville, private sector funding has grown at a faster rate than public sector funding.
“Private sector funding has grown at an average annual rate of 5.63% from 2005 06 to 2021-22, exceeding the 2.02% annual growth rate of public sector investment,” Dr Greenville said.
“The private sector has increased its share of total agricultural R&D funding from 29% in 2005-06 to 42% in 2020-21. While this is welcome news, one note of caution is that a lot of private sector investment relies on underpinning, publicly funded research and development.” R&D investment enables the delivery of new technology and knowledge into the Australian agricultural system and ABARES have confirmed the general importance of R&D to the sector.
“R&D continues to be a good investment, with our latest estimates indicating that $1 of research and development investment generates a return of around $8 in agricultural gross value added. Given its impact on the agriculture sector, it’s important to measure and understand changes in research and development investment over time,” Dr Greenville added.