Ag now the biggest contributor to the Australian economy

THE LATEST national accounts figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have revealed agriculture is now the biggest contributor to Australia’s gross domestic product and is the nation’s fastest growing sector.
Ag now the biggest contributor to the Australian economy Ag now the biggest contributor to the Australian economy Ag now the biggest contributor to the Australian economy Ag now the biggest contributor to the Australian economy Ag now the biggest contributor to the Australian economy

Kristy Moroney

The National Farmer’s Federation (NFF) president Fiona Simson said it was a great sense of pride for farmers that the nation’s prosperity was closely linked to the job they did.

“Agriculture is definitely the V8 engine powering Australia’s economic growth,” Ms Simson said.

According to the ABS farming contributed 0.5 percentage points to the national total growth of 1.9 per cent over the past year.

“In 2016-2017 agriculture production was valued at $62.8 billion – that’s on-farm alone,” she said.

“During this period the sector grew by a massive 23 per cent – the largest growth of any of Australia's 19 industries.”

Simson said the figures were driven primarily by growth in wool, red meat, grains and more niche industries such as nuts and wine.

“Positive terms of trade are the result of unprecedented international demand for our quality food and fibre."

Agriculture contributed $50 billion in exports in 2016-17 or just under 14% of Australia's total, goods and services exports.

“A number of valuable preferential trade agreements have contributed to this growth, as has the growing affluence of the Asian middle class," Ms Simson said.

The national accounts figures come in the same week when the NFF and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce announced a new national day to celebrate Australian agriculture and the industries that support it.

“National Agriculture and Related Industries Day on November 21 is a day for all Australians to celebrate the significant economic and social contribution farming makes to our nation and the world," Ms Simson said.

“Today our farmers feed about 61 million people globally and that demand is growing,” she said.

“Farming and affiliated food and fibre industries provide jobs to about 11.5 million Australians and it is also the powerhouse behind our regional communities.”

To learn more about National Agriculture & Related Industries Day click HERE

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