Luke Mathews, GrainGrowers General Manager, Policy & Research has shared his reflections on today’s launch of the AFI report “Australia agriculture; an increasingly risk business”
The Australian Farm Institute (AFI), with support of Rural Bank, refocused attention on risk management in agriculture today with the official launch of the “Australian agriculture: an increasingly risky business” report.
With the Federal Election about to take place, the report included a timely reminder that political will is required in order to avail Australian farmers with the tools they need to manage their businesses in an increasingly risky environment. AFI Executive Director Richard Heath pointed out that Australian farmers face more risk than other countries – driven by a combination of production, market and institutional factors – yet Australian farmers don’t have access to the same tools to manage these risks as overseas farmers do.
The audience heard of the market failure that exists in the crop insurance and weather derivative market, that there is a need to continually improve Farm Management Deposits to ensure greater uptake and utilisation, and that there is a requirement to ensure that government risk management programs focus on preparation rather than reaction. In other words, Richard discussed the need for government to support the establishment of appropriate risk management products to allow farmers to manage their own risks.
We welcome the AFI research and the alignment with our own existing research and policy positions. We welcome Mr Heath’s recommendation that the government should support the establishment of a viable crop insurance market via appropriate supply side and demand side incentives, such as the 150% tax incentive on premiums for which GrainGrowers have been calling for as part of our election priorities.
You can read the GrainGrowers 2019 Multi-Peril Crop Insurance report here
We’ve also got a very comprehensive document around our election priorities here. We are asking all candidates to commit to these, for our growers across Australia.