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Agribusiness

Overview

This page provides information and data on Agribusiness, which is the business of agricultural production.

Nationally recognised training for Agribusiness is delivered under the AHC - Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Training Package is managed by the Agriculture and Production Horticulture IRC.

For more information and data specific to Agricultural Operations and Services, and Production Horticulture please visit the respective pages.  

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

Employment levels for occupations relevant to Agribusiness have fluctuated between 2001 and 2021, peaking at 244,200 in 2002 and falling to 144,000 in 2017. In 2021, the overall employment level across this sector was 169,200.  

The largest area of employment is consistently Livestock Farmers, followed by Crop Farmers. Overall employment levels in almost all occupations are projected to increase by 2025 (from 2021 levels), with a projected decrease in employment for Auctioneers and Stock and Station Agents.

Training trends

Training snapshot

In 2020 there were approximately 410 program enrolments in Agribusiness qualifications, a decrease from 2016 when there were approximately 840 enrolments. There were 210 program completions in 2020, almost the same total reported in 2019. All enrolments were in qualifications at the certificate IV level or above in 2020, with nearly three-quarters of enrolments at the Diploma or above level (71%).

The main destination occupations for the training were Farmers and Farm Managers (55%) or Stock and Station Agent (25%).

Overall, most training was delivered by private training providers (61%), followed by TAFE institutes (32%) in 2020. Training was most likely to be government funded (82%) followed by international fee for service (10%) and domestic fee-for-service (9%).  

Victoria had the highest proportion of students enrolled in Agribusiness-related qualifications (34%) in 2020, followed by New South Wales (22%), Queensland (14%) and South Australia (13%).

Approximately 41% of the training was delivered in Victoria, followed by New South Wales (21%), Queensland (19%) and South Australia (12%).

There were insufficient enrolments in apprenticeships or traineeships to allow analysis.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry group or training package, visit NCVER’s Data Builder.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of Total VET.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

Further to the factors outlined on the Agriculture page, other challenges and opportunities impacting Agribusiness include:

Women in Australian agriculture

Women represent more than one-third of all agriculture employees in Australia and over a quarter (28%) of farmers and farm managers are women, according to the Queensland Farm Businesswomen: The Long Road to Leadership. Further, it is estimated that women contribute about half of the total value of output attributed to farming communities through their paid and unpaid activities, including the majority (84%) of off-farm income, which is vital for the maintenance of the farming enterprise. However, while women hold leadership roles in organisations that have a local focus, they are largely absent as elected board members in agricultural and industry organisations. Many farm businesswomen want to be leaders, but they are constrained by factors such as the lack of recognition of their roles in farm businesses. Women are willing to develop their skills and networks and to encourage and help develop other women, and are positive about future opportunities. However, there is a need to analyse current training and development opportunities and ensure these are accessible to women. See also the ANZ’s Women’s Work: Infocus - October 2020, by the ANZ, and Agribusiness Trend and Salary Report 2019.

Changing consumer demands

Consumers are rapidly embracing non-traditional crops, based on new cultural and wellbeing trends, according to Flanders Investment and Trade in Introduction to Agribusiness and Agtech in Australia. Forecasts for meat demand remain strong, however wealthy countries are taking steps to reduce per capita consumption, which has led to a rise in meat alternatives. This is evident in Australia, which is the third fastest growing vegan market in the work, after the United Arab Emirates and China. As such, the report states that Australia has a competitive advantage as it is a global leader in sustainability, animal welfare and food safety.

Changing supply chains

Digital platforms, such as blockchain, which enables seamless global transacting for food and fibre are changing supply chains, according to Flanders Investment and Trade. As such, blockchain provides real-time supply chain monitoring and validation. This could reshape Australia’s world-class traceability systems for agricultural products, which were designed for biosecurity and food safety. Combined with other innovations, like smart packaging, this will create a seamless digital journey from paddock to plate. Flanders Investment and Trade also identifies Inland Rail and borderless fresh food precinct as other projects, both supported by the National Farmers’ Federation, that would significantly change supply chains.

Analysis of priority skills identified in the Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast is available on the Agriculture Cluster page.

Links and resources

Below is a list of industry-relevant research, organisations and associations. Hyperlinks have been included where available.

IRC and skills forecasts

 

Relevant research

Agribusiness Trend and Salary Report 2019 – Agricultural Appointments

Introduction to Agribusiness and Agtech in Australia - Flanders Investment and Trade

Queensland Farm Businesswomen: The Long Road to Leadership – Susan Ressia, Glenda Strachan, Mary Rogers, Kim Ball and Ruth McPhail

Women’s Work: Infocus – October 2020 - ANZ

 

Industry associations and advisory bodies

Agribusiness Australia

AgriFutures Australia

Almond Board Australia

Animal Health Australia

Apple and Pear Australia Ltd (APAL)

Arboriculture Australia

Australasian Alpaca Breeders Association Inc

Australia Wool Testing Authority

Australian Alpaca Association

Australian Asparagus Council

Australian Association of Stud Merino Breeders

Australian Banana Growers' Council

Australian Blueberry Growers' Association

Australian Cane Farmers Association

Australian Chicken Growers' Council

Australian Chicken Meat Federation Inc

Australian Cotton Shippers Association

Australian Custom Harvesters

Australian Dairy Farmers

Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme (DataGene)

Australian Dairy Industry Council

Australian Eggs Limited

Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association Ltd

Australian Farm Institute

Australian Fodder Industry Association Ltd

Australian Grape and Vine

Australian Honey Bee Industry Council Inc.

Australian Institute of Horticulture Inc.

Australian Livestock & Property Agents Association

Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association

Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council

Australian Lot Feeders' Association

Australian Lychee Growers Association

Australian Macadamia Society Ltd

Australian Mango Industry Association

Australian Melon Association Inc.

Australian Mungbean Association

Australian Mushroom Growers’ Association Ltd

Australian Nut Industry Council

Australian Oilseeds Federation

Australian Olive Association

Australian Organic

Australian Organics Recycling Association

Australian Ostrich Association

Australian Pecan Association

Australian Pig Breeders Association Ltd

Australian Pineapple Association

Australian Pork Limited

Australian Queen Bee Breeders’ Association

Australian Seed Federation

Australian Seeds Authority Ltd

Australian Society of Horticultural Science

Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology

Australian Sunflower Association

Australian Sweetpotato Growers Inc.

Australian Table Grape Association

Australian Vignerons

Australian Wool Exchange Ltd

Australian Wool Innovation Ltd

AUSVEG

Avocados Australia Ltd

Barley Australia

Bean Growers Australia

Canegrowers

Cattle Council of Australia

Cherry Growers Australia Inc.

Chestnuts Australia Inc.

Citrus Australia

Cotton Australia

Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC)

Crop Consultants Australia

Crop Pollination Association Inc.

Custard Apples Australia Inc.

Dairy Australia

Dairy Goat Society of Australia

Deer Industry Association of Australia

Dried Fruits Australia

Egg Farmers of Australia

Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand Inc

Farm Biosecurity

Fertilizer Australia

Fisheries Research and Development Corporation

Flower Export Council of Australia Inc

Goat Industry Council of Australia

Grain and Feed Trade Association (GAFTA)

Grain Growers

Grain Producers Australia (GPA)

Grain Trade Australia

Grains Research and Development Corporation

Green Roofs Australasia

Hazelnut Growers of Australia Inc.

Honey Packers & Marketers Associations Inc

Horticulture Innovation Australia Ltd

Hydroponic Farmers Federation

Institute of Australian Consulting Arboriculturists

Institute of Australian Geographers Inc.

Irrigation Australia

LiveCorp

Livestock, Bulk and Rural Carriers Association (LBRCA)

Local Government Tree Resources Association

Maize Association of Australia

Meat & Livestock Australia

National Farmers' Federation

National Feedlot Accreditation Scheme

National Herd Improvement Association of Australia Inc.

National Irrigators’ Council

Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association

Onions Australia

Organic Federation of Australia

Passionfruit Australia Inc

Peanut Company of Australia

Persimmons Australia Inc

Pistachio Growers' Association Inc

Plant Health Australia

Potato Processing Association of Australia

PrimeSafe

Protected Cropping Australia

Pulse Australia

Raspberries and Blackberries Australia

Regional Australia Institute

Rice Growers’ Association of Australia

Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (Agrifutures)

Rural Skills Australia

Shearing Contractors’ Association of Australia

Sheep Producers Australia

South Australian Wine Industry Association

Soy Australia

Strawberries Australia Inc

Sugar Research Australia

Summerfruit Australia Limited

Sustainable Gardening Australia

The Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand

The Queensland Agriculture Workforce Network 

The Wine Grape Council of SA (WGCSA)

Utility Arborist Association Australia

Wheat Quality Australia

Wine Australia

Wool Producers Australia

 

Employee associations

Australian Workers' Union (AWU)

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2021, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2025
    • 1210 Farmers and Farm Managers nfd
    • 1211 Aquaculture Farmers
    • 1212 Crop Farmers
    • 1213 Livestock Farmers
    • 1214 Mixed Crop and Livestock Farmers
    • 6111 Auctioneers, and Stock and Station Agents.

 

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2021, 6291.0.55.001 - EQ08 - Employed persons by Occupation unit group of main job (ANZSCO), Sex, State and Territory, August 1986 onwards, viewed 1 August 2021, https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/employment-and-unemployment/labour-force-australia-detailed/may-2021

Employed total by ANZSCO 4 digit occupations, 2001 to 2021, May quarter

  • 1210 Farmers and Farm Managers nfd
  • 1211 Aquaculture Farmers
  • 1212 Crop Farmers
  • 1213 Livestock Farmers
  • 1214 Mixed Crop and Livestock Farmers
  • 6111 Auctioneers, and Stock and Station Agents. 

                                                                                                                                                               

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET Students and Courses from the following training package or qualifications:

AHC – Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Training Package

  • AHC41010 - Certificate IV in Agribusiness
  • AHC41016 - Certificate IV in Agribusiness
  • AHC41019 - Certificate IV in Agribusiness
  • AHC51410 - Diploma of Agribusiness Management
  • AHC51416 - Diploma of Agribusiness Management
  • AHC51419 - Diploma of Agribusiness Management
  • AHC60310 - Advanced Diploma of Agribusiness Management
  • AHC60316 - Advanced Diploma of Agribusiness Management
  • AHC60319 - Advanced Diploma of Agribusiness Management
  • RTE60203 - Advanced Diploma of Rural Business Management.

 

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2016 to 2020 program enrolments
  • 2016 to 2020 program completions.

 

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill-sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document. 

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place. This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

Updated: 14 Dec 2021
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