Australia’s agri-food sector is facing a monumental challenge, with a predicted $200 billion annual loss by 2050, according to a new study.
Agri-Food Australia chief executive Tim Koutsantonis said the sector had already experienced significant losses in recent years, and now it was facing a much more severe financial challenge.
“This is a critical time for Australia’s agriculture industry,” Mr Koutsamponis said.
In the last year, the price of a litre of feed has increased from $2.80 to $5.60, and there is a big jump in the price for grain.
The report, by economists from the Commonwealth Bank, said Australia’s agricultural sector was facing its worst financial challenge since the Great Depression.
It found the loss would be equivalent to the output of the country’s entire population for the next 50 years.
Its projections suggest the losses could hit $150 billion a year by 2050.
Australia’s largest agri consumer, the United States, has already reported a $50 billion annual drop in the value of its farm business.
Meanwhile, global food prices are expected to double by 2050 if current trends continue.
According to the study, a recent study from the University of Minnesota showed Australia could face a $100 billion annual economic loss by 2030.
For the past 10 years, Australia has lost $20 billion per annum, while the United Kingdom has lost nearly $30 billion.
Despite the risks, the government’s support of the sector is growing, with the Federal Government promising to provide $4 billion in annual grants for the industry over the next three years.