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Experience the support of a global player

Australia is one of the world’s largest agricultural exporters. On the country’s east coast, NSW is known for producing high-quality, safe and diverse agricultural products: from wine and olives to livestock, aquaculture, wheat and dairy.

The local climate ranges from sub-tropical to alpine and from arid to humid. That means NSW offers excellent conditions for producing many agricultural goods, including:

  • primary crops such as nuts, berries, other horticulture, grains, cotton, oilseeds and pulses
  • primary livestock, particularly sheep, beef cattle, goats and poultry
  • aquaculture, fishing and seaweed farming
  • livestock product manufacturing
  • processed food, olive oil and dairy
  • beverage manufacturing, including wine, craft beer and spirits.

Quick facts: Food and agriculture in NSW

NSW is known for being a leader in agricultural technology — here are some of our key statistics:

  • NSW’s agricultural sector in NSW is worth $13.1 billion a year and employs 76,000 people.
  • NSW food and agribusiness industry employed approximately 248,000 people in 2016.
  • NSW accounts for 23% of all Australia’s agricultural production at gross value, including 99% of rice production, 59% of cotton production and 36% of wheat production.
  • NSW has two arable hectares per person — the highest ratio in the world.
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Find out more about AgTech opportunities in NSW.

Let our comparative advantages become your advantage

NSW has the largest number of food and agriculture-related businesses of any state in Australia.

When it comes to producing agricultural commodities, NSW has competitive advantages such as:

  • size and diversity of climates and topography
  • the level of agricultural technology investments (such as DPI GATE)
  • a skilled workforce — 24% of NSW-based graduates have a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) qualification
  • our global reputation for producing high-quality products
  • our connection to emerging markets in the Asia Pacific, particularly as food security becomes more important.

Agricultural education, research and development

The number of students pursuing agricultural-related studies in NSW is on the rise. The Bachelor of Agricultural Science and Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga saw enrolments rise by 40% and 42% respectively. At the University of Sydney, enrolments in the Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Bachelor of Food and Agribusiness rose by 15% and 37% respectively.

The NSW Government, as well as our education and scientific centres, are committed to helping agricultural business succeed and grow. Our specialised research and development centres include:

  • The New England AgTech cluster in Armidale, backed by the New South Wales Government and underpinned by the University of New England.
  • Wagga Wagga’s AgTech hub incorporates the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, Graham Centre and Charles Sturt University.
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Find out more about Regional NSW, an Agriculture and AgTech powerhouse.

Current investment opportunities in food and agribusiness

There’s never been a better time to invest in Australian agriculture. A new global middle class is emerging rapidly, and two-thirds, or 3.2 billion, of these people are forecast to live in the Asia Pacific. At the same time, food security has become a growing issue. Australia’s reputation as a source of clean, quality agricultural produce is unsurpassed.

To help leverage these opportunities and further build reputation, the NSW Government and private industry invest heavily in innovation. In 2013/2014, NSW agribusinesses spent more than $32 million on research and development, and food product manufacturers spent $215 million. Meanwhile, the NSW Government allocated over $1.1 billion for research and development and critical regional services.

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Interested food and agribusiness opportunities in NSW? Contact the NSW Investment Concierge for personalised service.