Agricultural Productivity Division

First Assistant Secretary

  • Matt Koval (A/g)
    Switchboard: +61 2 6272 3933

The Agricultural Productivity Division (APD) aims to make Australia’s agricultural and food industries more globally competitive through policy advice and program administration.

APD is focused on developing the food and fibre 'value chain'—from paddock to plate. The division has several branches with specific responsibility for industry sectors such as crops, wine, horticulture, wool, meat and dairy, and the food value chain. These branches contribute to achieving positive outcomes in industry development and regulation, supply chain management and quality systems, product integrity, innovation, labour, education, security, sustainability, trade and market access.
They pursue these outcomes in co-operation with other divisions in the department, other relevant government agencies and industry.

Crops, Horticulture and Wine  

  • Assistant Secretary
    Peter Ottesen

The Crops, Horticulture and Wine Branch provides advice to the government on the wheat, sugar, cotton, ricehorticulture, wine and other cropping industries. The branch also supports the continued development and growth of those industries. They liaise with industry, community and government through representative organisations and agencies, and implementing government programs.

The branch also provides advice to the minister and parliamentary secretary on water and rural infrastructure issues.

The branch works with the Research and Development Corporations (RDCs):

  • Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC),
  • Cotton Research & Development Corporation
  • Sugar Research & Development Corporation
  • Horticulture Australia Ltd (HAL)
  • Grape and Wine Research & Development Corporation, and
  • Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation

to ensure that rural RDCs and industry-owned companies meet government financial and accountability standards, including performance reporting.

The branch also manages the government’s relationship with Wheat Exports Australia, which is responsible for the operation of the Wheat Export Accreditation Scheme.

Livestock Industries and Ag Vet Chemicals

  • Assistant Secretary
    Trysh Stone (A/g)

The Ag Vet Chemicals and Farm Leadership Programs Branch is responsible for leading the development of national policy on agricultural and veterinary (agvet) chemicals and managing the FarmReady and Community Networks and Capacity Building programs.

Agvet chemicals protect crops and animals from pests and diseases and help to improve the productivity and competitiveness of Australia’s rural industries. Agvet chemicals also help to ensure the quality and safety of food production while protecting human health and the environment. The branch develops policy relating to Australia’s agvet chemical regulation and is currently developing and implementing agvet chemical reforms consistent with the government’s election commitments and the Council of Australian Governments’ reform agenda.


  • Assistant Secretary
    Travis Power 

The Food Branch aims to advance and improve the competitiveness of Australia’s food industry, and achieve supply chain competitiveness, structural adjustment and innovative practices within the industry.

The branch provides advice to the government on the food value chain, food regulation, international food standards and the continuity of Australia’s food supply.

The branch also works with the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) to produce the annual Australian Food Statistics series.

Research & Development and Food Security

  • Assistant Secretary
    Barbara Jones

Through the Research & Development and Food Security Branch, the department ensures R&D and innovation continues to underpin the competitiveness and sustainability of portfolio industries. This is done through promoting relevant rural research priorities and by ensuring portfolio industry perspectives are taken into account in developing national innovation, science and technology strategies and programs.

The branch manages the governance relationship the Australian Government has with the six statutory RDCs and nine industry-owned companies. The section ensures all legislative requirements are successfully met by the RDCs and the industry-owned companies comply with the requirements of their Statutory Funding Agreements (SFAs).

The Branch provides secretariat services to the Rural Research and Development Council - the government’s key advisory body on rural R&D. The principal goal of the Council is to provide high level advice and coordination to better target and improve the effectiveness of the government’s investment in rural R&D.

The Branch also works to integrate the government’s food security objectives with related initiatives such as productivity and climate change policy and contributes to whole-of-government food security responses. Improving agricultural productivity is the government’s primary domestic response to the challenge of food security. The Branch has the objective of improving our understanding of the drivers of, and impediments to, improved productivity.