What is required to support farmers and grow the Australian agricultural industry?

Man couching in cotton crop

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has set big goals for the Australian agricultural industry to meet by 2030. In fact, they aim for it to grow into a $1 billion industry by this date. How? The NFF, in conjunction with KPMG and supported by TESLA, put together a discussion paper in March of last year on how processes will be implemented to reach this goal. We’ve picked out a few key points to share with you, which we believe are of particular significance to Australian farmers today. What can farmers do to cultivate growth in the Australian agricultural industry, and what kind of support do they need to achieve this? Read on to find out.

Embracing technology

Technology is evolving every day, as do programs and applications which can provide increased convenience for Australian farmers. Weather tracking technology assists farmers to plan when to plant and harvest crops, satellite imaging saves time on crop maintenance and surveying, and eCommerce has opened up a far more efficient means by which farmers can purchase the products they require. For the Australian agricultural industry to grow and thrive, farmers must embrace these new technologies, designed to save time, improve systems and simplify communication between key stakeholders.

You may be thinking that this all seems well and good, but it’s difficult to teach an old dog new tricks. It doesn’t have to be such an uphill battle, however, with the right support. It’s understandable that many farmers have traditional ways of doing things and may be reluctant to learn technological processes. But with an open mind, and the right training and support, all Australian farmers can embrace new technology and alleviate a lot of the stress involved with time-consuming tasks. This is where help from other industry members is vital. In agricultural eCommerce, for example, a friendly, patient and genuine team of retail assistants can make all the difference to a farmer branching out and buying his or her products online for the first time. This positive support network within the Australian farming community will help Australian farmers welcome technology capable of ensuring the industry’s growth.

Incentives to work in the Australian agricultural industry

On the topic of embracing the new, it’s also vital to encourage fresh blood within the farming community. Gone are the days when sons and daughters of farmers eagerly carried on the family tradition. Farming is now a chosen occupation, and unfortunately, we aren’t seeing as many incentives for youth to select this vital area of expertise when considering career options. Simply offering agricultural studies in schools is not enough. More emphasis must be placed on traineeships and the implementation of succession planning models. Infrastructure in rural areas must also be improved to attract young families to farming communities. This means better healthcare and education facilities and improved telecommunications for country towns. The NFF has even proposed an agricultural visa for foreigners wishing to gain employment in Australia’s farming sector. All of these steps will help to solidify the future of Australia’s agricultural industry.

A fair price for a quality product

Farmers are taking steps to understand what Australian consumers want, and considerable emphasis is being placed on ethical farming practices and fair working conditions. Consumers are demanding greater supply chain transparency and are eager to support Australian grown products. But they must also realise that the price they pay for items such as milk and meat also affects farmers’ wages and the quality of the products they can access. If consumers wish to see improved workers’ rights and the implementation of sustainable and ethical farming practices, they must be willing to pay more than $1 for a litre of milk. Active support for Australian farmers is also reflected in the prices that we pay when we get to the supermarket. Consumers with a better financial understanding of the real cost of labour and the equipment used to harvest crops will be more willing to pay fairer prices for their groceries. And this will result in better quality products and happier, sustained farming communities.

Specialist Sales is an online retailer stocking all the products vital to Australian farmers, at affordable prices. Our friendly team of industry experts are dedicated to assisting Australian farmers to save time and money by purchasing agricultural necessities online. At Specialist Sales, if we can’t save you money, we don’t deserve your business. Browse our online store or contact us today to discuss the online ordering process – we understand that a real person on the other end of the phone is important for first-time customers!

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