The Australian agriculture, fisheries and forestry sector is an important contributor to the Australian landscape, social fabric and economy. AgriFutures Australia seeks to grow the long-term prosperity of Australian rural industries by investing in research and development that, amongst others, accelerates the establishment and expansion of new rural industries.

Natural Capital Economics was engaged to quantify the capital required to support significant growth in Australia’s agriculture, fisheries and forestry sector over the next decade.

The project took into consideration current and emerging demand for capital from the sector through to 2030, and considered the drivers and impediments to greater investment in the sector with a 30 year horizon to 2050 to match the outlook of institutional and ‘long tail’ investors looking at opportunities in the sector.

We used a combination of desktop research, in-depth interviews with stakeholders from the agricultural, fisheries and forestry sector and the investor community, and modelling to estimate the capital required to meet the sector’s growth objectives.

We found that Australian agriculture needs an additional $7.5 billion of capital investment per year in order to reach the target of farm gate output worth $100 billion by 2030.

This growth will be achieved through a range of measures, including through greater access to financial capital, which supports growth by facilitating, for example:
• Expansion to achieve greater economies of scale both at an enterprise and industry level.
• Maintenance of high levels of quality assurance
• Vertical integration of the supply chain
• Adoption of new technologies
• Removal of logistics constraints
• Market access, especially to new markets.