Agricultural R&D investment on the rise

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.

Executive Director of ABARES Dr Jared Greenville said the rise in funding was a welcome sign for agricultural sector.

“Total agricultural R&D 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 been growing 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 R&D.

R&D investment enables the delivery of new technology and knowledge into the Australian agricultural system and ABARES have confirmed the importance of R&D to the sector.

“R&D continues to be a good investment, with our latest estimates indicating that $1 of R&D investment generates a return of around $8 in agricultural gross value added,” Dr Greenville said.

“Given its impact on the agriculture sector, it’s important to measure and understand changes in R&D investment over time.”

Full details is available on the ABARES report Agricultural research and development investment in Australia web page.

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