Agricultural R&D investment on the rise

The Australian agriculture sector has increased its investment in research and development (R&D) over the past ten years, contributing to growth in the productivity, competitiveness and sustainability of Australian farms.

Executive Director of the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) Dr Jared Greenville said the rise in funding was a welcome sign for agricultural sector.

“Total agricultural R&D funding in 2020-21 was $2.20 billion, with an average annual growth rate of 4.35% from 2011-12 to 2020-21,” Dr Greenville said.

According to Dr Greenville, private sector funding has been growing at a faster rate than public sector funding.

“Private sector funding has grown at an average annual rate of 5.63% from 2005 06 to 2021-22, exceeding the 2.02% annual growth rate of public sector investment,” Dr Greenville said.

“The private sector has increased its share of total agricultural R&D funding from 29% in 2005-06 to 42% in 2020-21. While this is welcome news, one note of caution is that a lot of private sector investment relies on underpinning, publicly funded R&D.”

R&D investment enables the delivery of new technology and knowledge into the Australian agricultural system and ABARES have confirmed the importance of R&D to the sector.

“R&D continues to be a good investment, with our latest estimates indicating that $1 of R&D investment generates a return of around $8 in agricultural gross value added,” Dr Greenville said.

“Given its impact on the agriculture sector, it’s important to measure and understand changes in R&D investment over time.”

The ABARES report Agricultural research and development investment in Australia can be read here:


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