Farming for our Future
Australia's farmers are among the most efficient in the world. This five-minute video was originally produced for the Shanghai World Expo in 2010 to showcase Australia's primary industries to our international trading partners. It has since been adapted for an Australian audience and examines the diversity and innovation of our agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors; the enviable quarantine status that Australia has; and the cooperative and adaptive approach the sector takes to doing business with the world.
Australia is the world’s oldest continent.
Only six per cent of the land mass is arable, so farming is a greater challenge than you might think.
[Image: map of Australia showing dryland and irrigated areas, totalling six per cent]
Australia is also the driest inhabited continent. Rainfall is unreliable so the sustainable use of water is critical.
[Image: map of Australia displaying annual rainfall, with coastal areas showing higher levels]
In order to overcome these challenges, Australian farmers have needed to be inventive, dedicated, resilient and efficient. And they are.
Australian farms – run mostly by Australian farming families – have built a longstanding reputation for producing reliable, high-quality produce. This reputation is a time-honoured tradition, one to be proud of, one that has laid strong foundations to grow into the future.
Farming in Australia is not just about the highest quality wheat, wool and beef. It is about so much more – the diverse bounty of the great southern land.
Mangoes in the tropical north. Lambs in the New South Wales Riverina. Lettuce from Tasmania. Fine wines from Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. Apples from Western Australia’s southern corner. And farmed southern blue fin tuna off South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.
The farm sector has diversified and grown without market-distorting subsidies.
Australia’s farming men and women are the least dependent on government support of any farmers in the world.
Two thirds of farm produce is exported, contributing 20 per cent to Australia’s export income.
[Image: pie chart displaying Australia’s major export markets, including Japan, South-East Asia and the Middle East]
With limited rainfall and finite arable land, Australia is not a large agricultural producer compared to countries of a similar size.
Farmers, and the industries that support them, have become expert at doing more with less.
[Image: comparing Australia’s wheat production (12MT) to that of China (109MT)]
More with less water. More with less land. More with fewer hands. Greater productivity and quality with fewer resources, but with more innovation, hard work, creativity, knowledge and care.
They have become smarter in the way they do business.
Using new research and technologies, the agriculture sector has achieved productivity gains far beyond those of others.
Australian farmers are business people who have a life-long commitment to education and development. They are stewards of the land, committed to continually improving their farming practices, and enriching the health of their land and communities.
Farmers pay levies to help fund research and development. National research bodies with international reputations – such as the CSIRO – conduct pioneering work in all aspects of farming from land and water management, climate change adaptation to the development of new plant breeds.
This research ensures that customers all over the world are getting what they expect from Australia and are reassured that they can trace it back to the source.
Australian farmers have taken up the challenge, and understand international customers’ need for products, equipment and technology. They also understand the need to reliably supply all of these things.
Modern transport systems allow the delivery of Australian produce in pristine condition – by ship or air freight.
Being an island, Australia is free of most of the world’s diseases and pests.
The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) works hard to maintain the country’s enviable biosecurity status.
AQIS also provides certification which helps Australian farmers and exporters access overseas markets and ensures Australian products meet the requirements of importing countries.
This is part of the national commitment to food safety and biosecurity, and compliance with the standards expected by international consumers.
Australian agriculture in the 21st century is sophisticated, adaptable and diverse.
But Australian farming men and women do business in the old-fashioned way, with old-fashioned values of partnership, cooperation, communication and respect. Working with our trading partners. Bringing the best of Australia to the world.
[Image: reads "Australia: Farming for the Future"]
21 Apr 2011