ABARES reveals a rise in funding of agriculture research and development

Dr Jared Greenville, Executive Director of ABARES
Dr Jared Greenville, Executive Director of ABARES

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.


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