Although Australia is mostly arid, the nation is a major agricultural producer and exporter, with over 325,300 employed in agriculture, forestry and fishing as of February 2015.Agriculture and its closely related sectors earn $155 billion-a-year for a 12% share of GDP. Farmers and grazers own 135,997 farms, covering 61% of Australia's landmass. Across the country there is a mix of irrigation and dry-land farming. Australia leads the world with 35 million hectares certified organic, which is 8.8% of Australia's agricultural land and Australia now accounts for more than half (51%) of the world's certified organic agriculture hectares. The success of Australia to become a major agricultural power despite the odds is facilitated by its policies of long-term visions and promotion of agricultural reforms that greatly increased the country's agricultural industry.
The CSIRO, the federal government agency for scientific research in Australia, has forecast that climate change will cause decreased precipitation over much of Australia and that this will exacerbate existing challenges to water availability and quality for agriculture.
There are three main zones: the high rainfall zone of Tasmania and a narrow coastal zone (used principally for dairying and beef production); wheat, sheep zone (cropping (principally winter crops), and the grazing of sheep (for wool, lamb and mutton) plus beef cattle) and the pastoral zone (characterised by low rainfall, less fertile soils, and large scale pastoral activities involving the grazing of beef cattle and sheep for wool and mutton).An indicator of the viability of agriculture in the state of South Australia is whether the land is within Goyder's Line.
Australia's main agricultural products are very contrasting crops: sugar cane (typical of tropical countries), wheat and barley (typical of cold countries). In 2018, Australia was the world's largest producer of lupin bean (714 thousand tons), the world's second largest producer of chickpeas (1 million tons), the world's fourth largest producer of barley (9.2 million tons) and oats (1.2 million tons), the 5th largest producer of rapeseed (3.9 million tons), the 9th largest producer of sugarcane (33.5 million tons) and wheat (20.9 million tons) and the 13th largest world producer of grape (1.66 million tons). In the same year, the country also produced 1.2 million tons of sorghum, 1.1 million tons of potato, in addition to smaller productions of other agricultural products, such as rice (635 thousand tons), maize (387 thousand tons), tomato (386 thousand tons), orange (378 thousand tons), fava beans (377 thousand tons), banana (373 thousand tons), pea (317 thousand tons), carrot (284 thousand tons), onion (278 thousand tons), apple (268 thousand tons), lentils (255 thousand tons), melon (224 thousand tons), watermelon (181 thousand tons), tangerine (138 thousand tons) etc.
Australia produces a large variety of primary products for export and domestic consumption. The forecast top ten agricultural products by value are listed for the year 2006–07, with production figures from previous years.
|Commodity (in millions of AUD$)||2001-02||2002-03||2003-04||2004-05||2005-06||2006-07|
|Cattle and calves||6,617||5,849||6,345||7,331||7,082||6,517|
|Fruit and nuts||2,333||2,408||2,350||2,640||2,795||2,915|
Cereals, oilseeds and grain legumes are produced on a large scale in Australia for human consumption and livestock feed. Wheat is the cereal with the greatest production in terms of area and value to the Australian economy. Sugarcane, grown in tropical Australia, is also an important crop; however, the unsubsidised industry (while lower-cost than heavily subsidised European and American sugar producers) is struggling to compete with the huge and much more efficient Brazilian sugarcane industry.
In 2005 McDonald's Australia Ltd announced it would no longer source all its potatoes for fries from Tasmanian producers and announced a new deal with New Zealand suppliers. Subsequently, Vegetable and Potato Growers Australia (Ltd.) launched a political campaign advocating protectionism.
Although the Australian wine industry enjoyed a large period of growth during the 1990s, over planting and oversupply led to a large drop in the value of wine, forcing out of business some winemakers, especially those on contracts to large wine-producing companies. At the time, the future for some Australian wine producers seemed uncertain, but by 2015 a national study showed that the industry had recovered and the combined output of grape growing and winemaking were major contributors to the Australian economy's gross outputwhile the associated industry of wine tourism had also expanded. A follow-up report from 2019 demonstrated further consolidation, by which stage wine had become Australia's fifth-largest agricultural export industry with domestic and international sales contributing AU$45.5 billion to gross output.
The beef industry is the largest agricultural enterprise in Australia, and it is the second largest beef exporter, behind Brazil, in the world. All states and territories of Australia support cattle breeding in a wide range of climates. Cattle production is a major industry that covers an area in excess of 200 million hectares. The Australian beef industry is dependent on export markets, with over 60% of Australian beef production exported, primarily to the United States, Korea and Japan.
In southern Australia (NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and south-western Western Australia) beef cattle are often reared on smaller properties as part of a mixed farming or grazing operation, but some properties do specialise in producing cattle. The southern calves are typically reared on pasture and sold as weaners, yearlings or as steers at about two years old or older.Artificial insemination and embryo transfer are more commonly used in stud cattle breeding in Australia, but may be used in other herds.
In the Top End, sub-tropical areas and in arid inland regions cattle are bred on native pastures on expansive cattle stations. Anna Creek Station in South Australia, Australia is the world's largest working cattle station.The North Australian Pastoral Company Pty Limited (NAPCO) is now one of Australia's largest beef cattle producers, with a herd of over 180,000 cattle and fourteen cattle stations in Queensland and the Northern Territory. The Australian Agricultural Company (AA Co) manages a cattle herd of more than 585,000 head. Heytesbury Beef Pty Ltd owns and manages over 200,000 head of cattle across eight stations spanning the East Kimberley, Victoria River and Barkly Tablelands regions in Northern Australia.
Prior to European settlement there were no cattle in Australia. The present herd consists principally of British and European breeds (Bos taurus), in the southern regions with Aberdeen Angus and Herefords being the most common. In northern Australia Bos indicus breeds predominate along with their crosses. They were introduced to combine the resistance to cattle ticks and greater tolerance of hot weather.
Despite strong public opposition (a petition carrying 200,000 signatures of people opposed to live export was tabled in parliament)and opposition from the RSPCA because of cruelty, the export of live cattle continues.
Domestic milk markets were heavily regulated until the 1980s, particularly for milk used for domestic fresh milk sales. This protected smaller producers in the northern states who produced exclusively for their local markets. The Kerin Plan (named after politician John Kerin) began the process of deregulation in 1986. The final price supports were removed in 2000 with the assistance of Pat Rowley, head of the Australian Dairy Farmers Federation and the Australian Dairy Industry Council.Deregulation ultimately saw 13,000 Australian dairy farmers produce 10 billion litres of milk in comparison to the 5 billion litres of milk produced by 23,000 farmers prior to deregulation, a 30% reduction in farmers with a 55% rise in milk production. As the Australian dairy industry grows feedlot systems are becoming more popular.
Animal rights organisations including PETA are currently promoting a boycott of Australian, and all Merino wool, as a protest against the practice of mulesing, a procedure used to prevent the animals from becoming fly blown with maggots.In 2004, due to the worldwide attention, AWI proposed to phase out the practice by the end of year 2010; this promise was retracted in 2009.
The shorelines, especially the Great Barrier Reef, are providing motivation to help the continent by using seaweed (algae) to absorb nutrients.Because of the giant number of natural Australian seaweeds, not only could seaweed cultivation be used to help absorb nutrients around the GBR and other Australian shores, cultivation could also help feed a large part of the world. Even the Chinese, who could be considered far more advanced in seaweed cultivation, are interested in the future of Australian seaweeds. Lastly, the GBR itself, because of the delicate corals, has lent itself to utilizing seaweed/algae purposely as a nutrient reduction tool in the form of algae.
Olives have been grown in Australia since the early 1800s. 2,000 hectares (4,900 acres) and from 2000 to 2003 passed 20,000 hectares (49,000 acres). By 2014 (Ravetti and Edwards, 2014) there were 2000 plantations, covering over 35,000 hectares (86,000 acres), and producing 93,500 tonnes (92,000 long tons; 103,100 short tons) of olives. 3,000 tonnes (3,000 long tons; 3,300 short tons) used as table olives and around 5–7,000 tonnes (4.9–6,889.4 long tons; 5.5–7,716.2 short tons) exported to the United States, China, the European Union, New Zealand and Japan. Between 2009 and 2014 Australia imported an average of 31,000 tonnes (31,000 long tons; 34,000 short tons) predominantly from Spain, Italy and Greece. China olive oil consumption is increasing and Chinese investors have begun to buy Australian olive farms. Olive cultivars include Arbequina, Arecuzzo, Barnea, Barouni, Coratina, Correggiola, Del Morocco, Frantoio, Hojiblanca, Jumbo Kalamata, Kalamata, Koroneiki, Leccino, Manzanillo, Pendulino, Picholine, Picual, Sevillano, UC13A6, and Verdale. Manzanillo, Azapa, Nab Tamri and South Australian Verdale for the production of table olives.Olive trees were planted by the warden of the self-funded penal settlement on St Helena Island, Queensland in Moreton Bay. By the mid-90s there were
Because of Australia's large deserts and irregular rainfall, irrigation is necessary for agriculture in some parts of the country. The total gross value of irrigated agricultural production in 2004-05 was A$9,076 million compared to A$9,618 million in 2000–01. The gross value of irrigated agricultural production represents around a quarter (23%) of the gross value of agricultural commodities produced in Australia in 2004–05, on less than 1% of agricultural land.
Of the 12,191 GL of water consumed by agriculture in 2004–05, dairy farming accounted for 18% (2,276 GL), pasture 16% (1,928 GL), cotton 15% (1,822 GL) and sugar 10% (1,269 GL).
Historian F.K. Crowley finds that:
The Country Party, from the 1920s to the 1970s, promulgated its version of agrarianism, which it called "countrymindedness". The goal was to enhance the status of the graziers (operators of big sheep ranches) and small farmers and justified subsidies for them.
The agricultural industry is one of the most trade-exposed sectors of the Australian economy.
GM (genetically modified) grains are not allowed in South Australia, where some grain producers have called for the moratorium to be lifted. They argue the GM technology would help them tackle weeds and other pests, and that farmers should be able to choose how they run their enterprises and whether or not they wanted to grow the "premium products" described by Leon Bignell, the South Australian (SA) Agriculture Minister. Producers have also said their GM-free grain is not translating to higher profits. Bignell conceded more work needed to be done to market produce as GM-free but said he was confident producers would see higher financial returns in the near future. In March 2015, Bignell told farmers they should not use GM but should instead rely upon what he called 'God's gifts'. cm or even deeper. You put clay in it when it's needed, you put organic matter where it's needed as well." Bignell said the trials had strengthened his view that South Australia should maintain a moratorium on GM technology, which he said gave the state's produce a "market edge". Bignell also said he believed results of the New Horizons program could be replicated in all grain growing areas of the state. Bignell added that "If you look at GM and the promises around increases of about seven per cent in yields, why would you go for seven per cent when you can get 50 to 100 per cent increases in yield without having to use genetically modified seeds?"He said the "amazing" results of the Government's "New Horizons" soil improvement program "prove", in his view, that grain producers "do not need genetic modification technology". He said that "Instead of using the top five centimetres of the soil, you go down to 50
Rondônia is one of the 26 states of Brazil, located in the northern subdivision of the country. To the west is a short border with the state of Acre, to the north is the state of Amazonas, in the east is Mato Grosso, and in the south and southwest is Bolivia. Rondônia has a population of 1,755,000 as of 2014. It is the fifth least populated state. Its capital and largest city is Porto Velho. The state was named after Cândido Rondon, who explored the north of the country during the 1910s. The state, which is home to 0,8% of the Brazilian population, is responsible for 0,6% of the Brazilian GDP.
Agriculture is a major industry in the United States, which is a net exporter of food. As of the 2007 census of agriculture, there were 2.2 million farms, covering an area of 922 million acres (1,441,000 sq mi), an average of 418 acres per farm.
Agriculture, farming, and fishing form the primary sector of industry of the Japanese economy together with the Japanese mining industry, but together they account for only 1.3% of gross national product. Only 20% of Japan's land is suitable for cultivation, and the agricultural economy is highly subsidized.
Canada is one of the largest agricultural producers and exporters in the world. As with other developed nations, the proportion of the population and GDP devoted to agriculture fell dramatically over the 20th century but it remains an important element of the Canadian economy. A wide range of agriculture is practised in Canada, from sprawling wheat fields of the prairies to summer produce of the Okanagan valley. In the federal government, overview of Canadian agriculture is the responsibility of the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
Agriculture is one of the bases of Argentina's economy.
Roughly one-third of Iran's total surface area is suited for farmland, but because of poor soil and lack of adequate water distribution in many areas, most of it is not under cultivation. Only 12% of the total land area is under cultivation but less than one-third of the cultivated area is irrigated; the rest is devoted to dryland farming. Some 92 percent of agricultural products depend on water. The western and northwestern portions of the country have the most fertile soils. Iran's food security index stands at around 96 percent.
Agriculture in Uzbekistan employs 28% of the country's labor force and contributes 24% of its GDP. Crop agriculture requires irrigation and occurs mainly in river valleys and oases. Cultivable land is 4.5 million hectares, or about 10% of Uzbekistan's total area, and it has to be shared between crops and cattle. Desert pastures cover fully 50% of the country, but they support only sheep.
Many farmers in India depend on animal husbandry for their livelihood. In addition to supplying milk, meat, eggs, wool, their castings (dung) and hides, animals, mainly bullocks, are the major source of power for both farmers and drayers. Thus, animal husbandry plays an important role in the rural economy. The gross value of output from this sector was 8,123 billion Rupees in FY 2015-16.
Agriculture in Chile encompasses a wide range of different activities due to its particular geography, climate, geology and human factors. Historically agriculture is one of the bases of Chile's economy, now agriculture and allied sectors—like forestry, logging and fishing—account only for 4.9% of the GDP as of 2007 and employed 13.6% of the country's labor force. Some major agricultural products of Chile include grapes, apples, onions, wheat, corn, oats, peaches, garlic, asparagus, beans, beef, poultry, wool, fish and timber. Due to its geographical isolation and strict customs policies, Chile is free from diseases such as Mad Cow, fruit fly and Phylloxera, this plus being located in the southern hemisphere and its wide range of agriculture conditions are considered Chile's main comparative advantages. However, the mountainous landscape of Chile limits the extent and intensity of agriculture so that arable land corresponds only to 2.62% of the total territory.
Uganda's favorable soil conditions and climate have contributed to the country's agricultural success. Most areas of Uganda have usually received plenty of rain. In some years, small areas of the southeast and southwest have averaged more than 150 millimeters per month. In the north, there is often a short dry season in December and January. Temperatures vary only a few degrees above or below 20 °C but are moderated by differences in altitude.
Agriculture in Algeria composes 25% of Algeria's economy and 12% of its GDP in 2010. Prior to Algeria’ colonization in 1830, nonindustrial agriculture provided sustenance for its population of approximately 2-3 million. Domestic agriculture production included wheat, barley, citrus fruits, dates, nuts, and olives. After 1830, colonizers introduced 2200 individual farms operated by private sectors. Colonial farmers continued produce a variety of fruits, nuts, wheat, vegetables. Algeria became a large producer of wine during the late 19th century due to a crop epidemic that spread across France. Algeria's agriculture evolved after independence was achieved in 1962. The industry experienced multiple policy changes modernize and decry on food imports. Today, Algeria's agriculture industry continues to expand modern irrigation and size of cultivable land.
Agriculture in Portugal is based on small to medium-sized family-owned dispersed units; however, the sector also includes larger-scale intensive farming export-oriented agrobusinesses backed by companies. The extent of cooperative organisation has been reaching a greater importance with globalization. Portugal produces a wide variety of products, including green vegetables, rice, corn, wheat, barley, olives, oilseeds, nuts, cherries, bilberry, table grapes and edible mushrooms. Forestry has also played an important economic role among the rural communities and industry. In 2013, the gross agricultural product accounted for 2.4% of the GDP. Portugal is the largest world producer of both cork and carob, as well as the third largest exporter of chestnut and the third largest European producer of pulp. Portugal is among the top ten largest olive oil producers in the world and is the fourth biggest exporter. The country is also one of the world's largest exporters of wine, being reputed for its fine wines. The land area of slightly more than 9.2 million hectares was classified as follows : 2,755 arable land and permanent crops, 530 permanent pasture, 3,640 forest and woodland, and 2,270 other land.
In New Zealand, agriculture is the largest sector of the tradable economy. The country exported NZ$46.4 billion worth of agricultural products in the 12 months to June 2019, 79.6% of the country's total exported goods. The agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector directly contributed $12,653 million of the national GDP in the 12 months to September 2020, and employed 143,000 people, 5.9% of New Zealand's workforce, as of the 2018 census.
Agriculture in Morocco employs about 40% of the nation's workforce. Thus, it is the largest employer in the country. In the rainy sections of the northwest, barley, wheat, and other cereals can be raised without irrigation. On the Atlantic coast, where there are extensive plains, olives, citrus fruits, and wine grapes are grown, largely with water supplied by artesian wells. Morocco also produces a significant amount of illicit hashish, much of which is shipped to Western Europe. Livestock are raised and forests yield cork, cabinet wood, and building materials. Part of the maritime population fishes for its livelihood. Agadir, Essaouira, El Jadida, and Larache are among the important fishing harbors. Both the agriculture and fishing industries are expected to be severely impacted by climate change.
Agriculture in Guyana is dominated by sugar and rice production. Although once the chief industry, is has been overshadowed by mining.
Throughout its history, agriculture in Paraguay has been the mainstay of the economy. This trend has continued today and in the late 1980s the agricultural sector generally accounted for 48 percent of the nation's employment, 23 percent of GDP, and 98 percent of export earnings. The sector comprised a strong food and cash crop base, a large livestock subsector including cattle ranching and beef production, and a vibrant timber industry.
Agriculture in Albania is still a significant sector of the economy of Albania, which contributes to 22.5% of the country's GDP. The country spans 28,748 square kilometres of which 24% is agricultural land, 36% forest land, 15% pasture and meadow and 25% urban areas including lakes, waterways, unused rocky and mountain land. It can be separated into three main zones such as the lowland zone alongside the coastline of the country, the hill zone in the lowland and the mountain zone.
Agriculture in Germany represents only a minor sector of the national economy as the number of employees has rapidly declined since the 19th century Industrialisation period and again, drastically during the 20th century. By 1989 agriculture amounted to only 1.6 percent of the West German GDP. Although the percentage of the agricultural sector of the East German GDP was twice as high, its total proportion of the reunited Germany's GDP amounted to only about two percent. Despite the sector's relatively small work force, that continues to decline in the 21st century and the mere 0.9 percent value share in the national GDP (2007), its use of more than half of the country's surface area, its impact on the environment and its fundamental connection to health issues, makes it politically very important. As one of the four largest producers in the European Union, large scale outdoor vegetable cultivation, such as potatoes and cereals accounts for the highest output.
Agriculture in Spain is important to the national economy. The primary sector activities accounting for agriculture, husbandry, fishing and silviculture represented a 2.7% of the Spanish GDP in 2017, with an additional 2.5 % represented by the agrofood industry.
Agriculture in South Africa contributes around 5% of formal employment, relatively low compared to other parts of Africa and the number is still decreasing, as well as providing work for casual laborers and contributing around 2.6 percent of GDP for the nation. Due to the aridity of the land, only 13.5 percent can be used for crop production, and only 3 percent is considered high potential land.
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