The economic value of the vegetable industry is projected to grow significantly, with recently published data by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) indicating that the gross value of the vegetable industry will reach $4.2 billion by 2020-21.
The projected growth is outlined in the Agricultural Commodities report for the March 2016 quarter. The report states that the 2013-14 gross value of vegetable production of $3.6 billion will expand in the next five years due to increases in both export and domestic markets.
“The projected growth of the vegetable industry is good news for the national economy, as the vegetable industry is a significant contributor to Australian agriculture,” said AUSVEG spokesperson Shaun Lindhe.
“The projected increase in the gross value of the vegetable industry is a positive indicator for growers, so long as this increased value translates to greater returns at the farm-gate,” said Mr Lindhe.
“Managing costs, diversifying into export markets and continuing to look at potential business efficiencies will be extremely important to ensure that the broader industry can remain profitable long-term.”
The projected growth is partly based on the assumption that the Australian dollar will remain relatively weak, which is expected to support a projected rise in the value of horticultural exports over the medium term.
Exports in the Australian vegetable industry are projected to contribute to its increased value, with the gross value set to rise to a nominal value of $396 million by 2020-21, up from $270 million in 2013-14.
“Australia’s vegetables are highly sought after, with growing middle class populations in Asia and projected growth in the food sector in the UAE stimulating increased demand for a greater variety of Australian vegetables,” said Mr Lindhe.
“Australia has a reputation as a world-leading producer of vegetables, and local growers can use this reputation to access international markets to sell their produce and increase the value of the entire industry.”
“Recently signed Free Trade Agreements with South Korea and Japan should also assist Australian growers to increase vegetable exports over time.”
The Economics program for the vegetable industry is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.