How much is agriculture really worth to your economy?
They say Australia was built on the sheep’s back, but it’s well known that Agriculture has been a declining sector of the economy for quite a while. At least as far as employment is concerned. In terms of the value of what’s produced, it’s more productive than ever. Economy.id now lets you explore the importance of agriculture, and the value of different commodities produced in your area.
The Agriculture module is part of the “Custom industries” section of economy.id, and it is turned on by default for any council which has a significant agricultural industry. This includes all our rural subscribers, but a surprising number of councils within capital cities as well.
All subscribers can see the value of agriculture and contribution to the national total. Nationally, Agriculture contributes about $31b to the bottom line of the GDP.
To see the value in your area, go to the “Contribution” page of economy.id and select Agriculture from the drop down list (you can do this for any of the 87 ANZSIC industry subdivisions through his page).
For instance, in the City of Penrith, NSW, though you might think this is a metropolitan economy – Agriculture contributes $56m of value add to Penrith’s economy. While this isn’t a huge amount, it’s about 1% of GRP, and employs around 700 people.
The Agriculture module, which is found under “Custom industries” in the left-hand menu, breaks down the value of agricultural production by a number of different commodities. This dataset is sourced from the ABS Agriculture Census, which is run every 5 years, and goes out to every farm with an estimated value of agricultural output of more than $50,000.
The agriculture module shows more industry specialisation than just about anywhere else in economy.id. Most agricultural economies specialise in one or two sectors. In the case of Penrith, you can see that the main areas are Eggs, Livestock slaughterings, and vegetable production.
On the associated table, you can click on each line to drill down to a myriad of commodities produced in an area. In the case of Penrith, we can see that the largest outputs are Poultry slaughtered ($30m), Eggs ($25m) and Mushrooms ($12m) – in fact Penrith makes up about 13% of NSW mushroom production. For commodities where the classification remained the same over two Agriculture Censuses, you can also see what has increased or decreased. In 5 years, mushroom production in Penrith has doubled.
Now, let’s have a look at a rural council. Moira Shire in northern Victoria along the Murray is a large irrigation area, very important to the state’s economy. The Shire overall has about a $1b economy, but Agriculture is the largest component of that, with a value-add estimated at $265m per annum, and a gross output varying between $500-$600m per year.
In the fruit category, you can see if you drill-down, that Moira produced $32m worth of peaches, $20m of nectarines, $28m of apples and $24m of pears in 2010-11. The agricultural economy is also diversifying, with increases in some broadacre crops, like canola, and also in the vegetables category.
There is a lot of information in here about the value of agriculture in your economy. And don’t forget that you can also get the characteristics of workers in Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, how they are changing over time, where they work, and whether they travel to work in your area or live locally.
The agriculture module is enabled by default for any area with a significant agricultural economy. If you have economy.id and it’ s not enabled, but you think it should be, please call or email us.
If you’re a rural council, and thinking about economy.id to help you better understand your economy and plan for economic development, we do have some very affordable options for small population councils, and regions to subscribe. Please contact .id or visit our website at id.com.au for more information.