Future of the Farm

Future of the Farm

SA
Sep 18

Intergenerational change is a significant challenge within agricultural communities. We have many old, and few young farmers; consequently, average farmer age is rising and total farmer population is declining.

Speakers

 

 Public event
 18/09/2009
 Ballroom, Hyatt Regency, Adelaide, SA

 Agriculture/Farming
 Half-day forum

   

    

 

EVENT OVERVIEW

Australia is among the most urbanised countries in the world.  Outside the cities, coastal areas and areas around major arterial roads are growing, while some remote areas are experiencing population decline. However, the agricultural sector is an important source of income in rural Australia, with the agricultural sector accounting for:

  •  3 per cent of gross domestic product 
  •  3.5 per cent of total employment 
  •  3-14 per cent of employment in inland and remote Australia 
  •  20 per cent of merchandise exports (two-thirds of production is exported).

Intergenerational change is a significant challenge within agricultural communities. We have many old, and few young farmers; consequently, average farmer age is rising and total farmer population is declining.

Patterns of land ownership are changing with Farm land size increasing, with fewer small and more large farms, which tend to be more profitable.
Shortages of services and skills exist in rural and regional areas with continuing levels of higher employment and lower levels of further education and training.

Access to physical and electronic infrastructure is also a problem, impeding the efficiency of rural enterprise.

Rainfall is declining in much of rural and regional Australia.

On top of all of these challenges, climate change and drought compound these stresses with drought being a significant cause of mental stress for farmers and rural communities.

But a strong and sustainable  agricultural sector is the foundation of our rural and regional communities and the resilience and determination of these communities also present opportunities, including:

  •  Climate change creates opportunities as well as challenges for rural and regional areas: Solar, wind and geothermal energy tend to locate in regional areas where large quantities of land are relatively inexpensive.
  •  The provision of biodiversity and carbon abatement are examples of "ecosystem services". They will grow in economic importance to rural and regional Australia in the future.
  •  The mining industry will continue to underpin the growth of many of our rural communities.
  •  Tourism offers enormous growth potential as well as diversification benefits.

Join CEDA as we explore these and other critical issues facing rural and regional Australian and learn just what will be the future of the farm in Australia.

 
 

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