We must think big to grow the economy

Farm sector must think big to grow economy


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I see a vision that is bold, and one with global outcomes.

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Fifty per cent of regional income in Victoria comes from agribusiness. This means that we need a strategy for growth to be the winner for our farming communities.

I see a vision that is bold, and one with global outcomes.

Our new future will:

• Encourage international investment. ANZ Insight report, Greener Pastures, predicts the real value of Australian exports will double by 2050 with a $600 billion investment. We are well placed in the region of the world’s fastest growing economies – China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia – to seek investment from these nations to bring opportunity and new partnerships to Victorian farmers.

• An energy strategy to reflect low cost and reliability that underpins new development.

Farmer organisations should seek regional discounts for agribusiness or consider co-investment with regional energy generators/retailers to supply lower cost power.

Alongside this will be new dams, hydro energy and water for agriculture.

• Innovation and new technology to be embraced.

Robotic and intensification of production will be the new.

Gene research, cloning and innovations to provide food production models for the growing populations of the world.

Educators need to train the service providers for these industries.

And all the technology must be environmentally acceptable. 

Australia’s Landcare will be recognised as the marketing tool to enhance our clean green image.

• Branding and marketing. This is the real challenge.

We first must plan to win populace support and the social licence to farm.

• A marketing campaign designed to win customers at home and abroad, including multilingual and digital material that connects with shoppers and food decision makers.

As a retired dairy farmer, my style reflects the Big M approach to reach into our Asian neighbours.

My vision is a new agriculture plan and a Victoria that leads economic growth to secure our future. Go Victoria!

Alex Arbuthnot AM is a past president and member of the Victorian Farmers Federation’s land management committee. For more information on the federation and its programs, visit the website at www.vff.org.au

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