AGRICULTURE

Agriculture

Introduction

If everyone in the world ate like the average American, the Global Footprint Network estimates that we would need 4.1 planet earths – unfortunately, we only have one.

Food demand and production world population is expected to grow by over a third, or 2.3 billion people, between 2009 and 2050. This is a much slower rate of growth than the one seen in the past four decades during which it grew by 3.3 billion people, or more than 90%. Nearly all of this growth is forecast to take place in the developing countries.

The agriculture industry is responsible for fulfilling humans’ need for energy, and to some extent, shelter. In addition to food crops and livestock, the industry includes field crops such as cotton or tobacco. Companies involved in support functions such as pest management, animal husbandry, or other management are also included in agriculture. This is a huge industry, which employs approximately 42% of the world’s laborers, although it comprises less than 5% of the combined GDPs of the world.

Among the developing countries, sub-Saharan Africa’s population would grow the fastest (+114%) and East and Southeast Asia’s the slowest (+13%). Urbanization is foreseen to continue at an accelerating pace with urban areas to account for 70% of world population in 2050 (up from 49% at present) and rural population, after peaking sometime in the next decade, actually declining.

Agriculture in the 21st century faces multiple challenges. It has to produce more food and fibre to feed a growing population with a smaller rural labour force, more feedstock for a potentially huge bio-energy market, contribute to overall development in the many agriculture-dependent developing countries, adopt more efficient and sustainable production methods and adapt to climate change.

At the same time, per capita incomes in 2050 are projected to be a multiple of today’s levels. There is a consensus among analysts that recent trends whereby the economies of developing countries have been growing significantly faster that the developed ones is likely to continue in the future. Relative inequality in per capita incomes would be reduced considerably by 2050. However, absolute differences would remain pronounced and could even increase further, given the current huge gaps in absolute per capita incomes.

Moreover, inter-country and inter-regional inequalities within the present-day developing world would tend to become more pronounced. The projected global economic growth of about 2.9% annually would lead to a significant reduction or even near elimination of absolute “economic” poverty in the developing countries (persons living on less than USD1.25/day in 2005 prices).

Nevertheless, even in 2050 the world will still be far from solving the problem of economic deprivation and malnutrition of significant parts of the population: the USD1.25/day poverty line is simply too low. On less stringent criteria, deprivation and under nutrition will remain widespread, though significantly less than today.

These trends mean that market demand for food would continue to grow. Demand for cereals, for both food and animal feed uses is projected to reach some 3 billion tonnes by 2050, up from today’s nearly 2.1 billion tonnes. The advent of bio fuels

Why should 795 million people on our planet be going hungry while 1.9 billion are suffering from the ill effects of overweight and obesity? In 2014 more grain was harvested than ever before: 2.5 billion tons worldwide. Despite this record-breaking harvest, only 43% was used to feed people. The rest was used to feed livestock, fill our petrol tanks, support industrial production processes or was simply wasted. Our global food system is one of the most significant contributors to climate change, loss of biodiversity, pollution and water shortages as well as preventable disease, poverty and injustice.

China

Agriculture is a vital industry in China, employing over 300 million farmers (about half of China’s work force). China ranks first in worldwide farm output, primarily producing rice, wheat, potatoes, tomato, sorghum, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, cotton, oilseed and soybeans. Although accounting for only 10% of arable land worldwide, it produces food for 20% of the world’s population.

Despite the rapid growth of in output, the Chinese agricultural sector still faces several challenges. Farmers in several provinces, such as Shandong, Zhejiang, Anhui, Liaoning, and Xinjiang often have a hard time selling their agricultural products to customers due to a lack of information about current market conditions.

Between the producing farmer in the countryside and the end-consumer in the cities, there is a chain of intermediaries. Because a lack of information flows through them, farmers find it difficult to foresee the demand for different types of fruits and vegetables. In order to maximize their profit they choose to produce those fruits and vegetables that created the highest revenues for farmers in the region in the previous year. If most farmers do this, it causes the supply of fresh products to fluctuate substantially year on year. Relatively scarce products in one year are produced in excess the following year because of an attraction to expected higher profit margins. The resulting excess supply, however, forces farmers to reduce their prices and sell at a loss. The scarce, revenue creating products of one year become the over-abundant, loss-making products in the following, and vice versa.

Efficiency is further impaired in the transportation of agricultural products from the farms to the actual markets. According to figures from the Commerce Department, up to 25% of fruits and vegetables rot before being sold, compared to around 5% in a typical developed country. As intermediaries cannot sell these rotten fruits they pay farmers less than they would if able to sell all or most of the fruits and vegetables. This reduces farmers’ revenues. The problem is caused by post-production inefficiencies, which they are not aware of during price negotiations with intermediaries.

These information and transportation problems highlight inefficiencies in the market mechanisms between farmers and end consumers, impeding farmers from taking advantage of the fast development of the rest of the Chinese economy. The resulting small profit margin does not allow them to invest in the necessary agricultural inputs (machinery, seeds, fertilizers, etc.) to raise productivity and improve their standards of living, from which the whole of the Chinese economy would benefit. This in turn increases the exodus of people from the countryside to the cities, which already face urbanization issues.

With its burgeoning middle class, annual meat consumption in China has gone from being a third of that of the US in 1978, to now more than double it according to statistics from the Earth Policy Institute. Though, per capita, the Chinese consume half the amount of meat as Americans their per capita demand for pork has caught up with US and exceeded those numbers since 1997.

Not only is meat consumption on the rise, which has spurred a shift from household and small farm production to larger factory-like meat operations, China’s intake of processed foods has increased as well. According to Euromonitor International Statistics, the Chinese market for processed food should surpass America’s by 2015. While that still means the average Chinese person eats only about a quarter as much packaged food as the average American, there is startling room for growth.

As countries move from low to middle income, meat consumption increases, then from middle to high income you see a spike in demand for processed goods.

The food trend in China is also followed by new highs in levels of obesity and diabetes. China now ranks second in the world in number of obese residents, a growing proportion of which are children. According to statistics from the Wall Street Journal, 23% of Chinese boys and 14% of girls under age 20 are overweight or obese – high rates even among wealthy countries. Even more starkly, China leads the way in the number of diabetics with 114 million diagnosed with the disease, a third of all global diabetics.

The changes in diet occurring in China carry rippling effects around the world. China’s higher demand for meat not only carries implications on global prices and trade, but also the environment. A net-exporter of grains until 2007, China is now the second largest grain importer, with a third of grains going to livestock feed in 2011.

Once self-sufficient in soybean production, China now imports over 60 million tons, the number one export from the US to China. In addition to being energy and water intensive, land used for livestock contributes significantly to deforestation as well as water pollution and carbon emissions.

Though the US is still home to some of the highest proportional levels of obesity and diabetes in the world, US meat consumption has fallen each year since peaking in 2007, and new trends to eat less meat and steer away from processed foods may be catching on with campaigns like Meatless Monday and Food Day. Rather than exporting our diet around the world, perhaps the US could learn something from diets based on a higher consumption of vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, and nuts in setting a trend to follow.

According to estimates by Euromonitor International, in terms of volume, the Chinese market for packaged processed food like ready-made meals, snacks and drinks like cookies, chips, and soda will surpass America’s by 2015. China could consume much as 107 million tonnes of packaged food, compared to 102 million tonnes in the US.

That still means the average Chinese resident will eat only about a quarter as much processed food as the average American. And the American market will still be worth more (USD369 billion versus an estimated USD238 billion in China.) Still, Chinese consumption of these foods will have grown 66% from 2008, according to Euromonitor.

International, as well as domestic companies are banking on this growing appetite. China’s market for cookies is estimated to be worth USD24 billion, and growing some 20% a year. Campbell’s Soup announced its acquisition of Denmark’s Kelsen Group, whose butter cookies are a hit in the country, in June. Western snacks like granola bars, cereal, and pasta are all becoming more popular, Euromonitor says.

Japan

Japan’s food market is estimated to be USD700 billion annually. Japan’s food self-sufficiency, based on the amount of calories consumed, was only 39% in 2010. The remaining 61% of the calories comes from imported food.

The top three imported commodities are soybeans (traditionally consumed), wheat and maize (not traditionally consumed). The latter’s inclusion is a surprise given that you will not find a lot of maize products (corn, corn flour, etc.) on a Japanese dinner table or in a Japanese supermarket. However, figures from 2006 reveal that 66 percent of corn imports are actually for livestock feed, reflecting the country’s aforementioned increasing taste for meat, and accounting for much of the “virtual water” transferred from agricultural export countries and to Japan.

The annual value added in Japan’s agriculture sector is 4.6 trillion yen (about USD46 billion). Agricultural imports are 5.8 trillion yen, sales total 8.2 trillion yen, and the agricultural budget (which can be thought of farm subsidies) is 2.2 trillion yen. Domestic prices of agricultural products are 1.516 times higher than the international average, according to the OECD, which can be likened to 51.6% tariff protection.

At a glance, the situation seems absurd. Agricultural consumption in Japan is 10.4 trillion yen (4.6 trillion yen in domestic production + 5.8 trillion yen in imports). Domestic farmers thus meet only 44% of total consumption, despite receiving 2.2 trillion yen in subsidies and benefitting from 51.6% tariff protection. The domestic value added would be only 3.0 trillion yen (4.6 trillion yen / 1.516), moreover, if calculated using international prices. Subtracting the 2.2 trillion yen in subsidies from this amount would then leave only 0.8 trillion yen in real value added by domestic producers—equivalent to just 0.17% of Japan’s 470 trillion yen GDP.

The plight of domestic agriculture can also be seen when we look at individual farming families. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the farming population in Japan is 2.53 million, and there are 1.50 million farms, but their agricultural sales are only 500,000 yen (approximately USD5,000) on average. The average household income in Japan is 5.48 million yen.

There are only 171,500 full-time farming households, and the rest are farming only on a part-time basis. The average age of farmers is 65.8 years old, and the ratio of 65-and-over workers to the total agricultural population is 61.8%. Fields and rice paddies that have been abandoned and are no longer cultivated total 400,000 hectares (Japan’s arable land is 4.5 million hectares), while another 1,100,000 hectares lie unused owing to the government’s gentian policy of reducing rice cultivation acreage. Japanese agriculture is in a state of collapse.

Consumption of livestock products, fats, oils and sugar increased rapidly from 1960 with protein from livestock products now accounting for 30% of protein intake. These livestock products include chicken, eggs, pork, beef, dairy products, mutton and lamb as well as meat from other animals. A large proportion of these products are imported.

Food consumption patterns in Japan are distinct in some ways, but also share many characteristics with consumption patterns in other developed countries. Japan’s people eat less than Americans: caloric consumption per person per day is almost 1,000 kilocalories less in Japan than in the United States, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Still, the Japanese spend more of their income on food and beverages than Americans. High food spending reflects higher food prices in Japan, and also the desire among consumers for a varied, high-quality diet. Japan’s people eat at home and in restaurants, but also purchase food in convenience stores. Workdays and commute times are often long, and picking up lunch or snacks in convenience stores is very popular. Many convenience stores are open 24 hours a day. In addition, vending machines offering a variety of foods and drinks are widely available, so that consumers can find something to eat anytime. In recent years, the government has eased operating-hour limits and size restrictions for retail food outlets. Partly in response to these regulatory changes and the competition from convenience stores the pace of change in Japan’s supermarket industry has picked up. The traditional Japanese diet emphasizes rice, fish, eggs, vegetables, and soy products. Culturally, Japan identifies a divide between the west (Osaka and south) and east (Tokyo and north), which leads to some differences in traditional food preferences. While traditional food preferences persist, the desire for variety is also strong, and Japan has a reputation for embracing new foods. The Mediterranean diet popular in the late 1990s, for example, drove imports of wine, olive oil, cheese, and pasta to very high levels, which have been sustained. Although personal incomes have stagnated along with the economy, Japan’s consumers still are willing to pay for upscale food products, such as Wagyu beef–heavily marbled beef from Japan’s traditional draft animals. The average bargain sale price for Wagyu sirloin was USD44 per pound in 2013; the price for Wagyu chuck was over USD22 per pound. Even with these high prices, Japanese consumption of Wagyu beef is relatively stable at about 160,000 metric tons.

South Korea

South Korea imported a total of USD23.4 billion worth of food and beverage products in 2011, the bulk coming from the US, China and Australia.

South Korea’s export-oriented economy supports a relatively affluent society of 48 million people. The county’s rugged mountains leave a relatively small arable land area. Rice dominates crop production and has long been the staple food, and Korea has turned increasingly to food imports to satisfy consumers’ demands for greater food variety, lower prices, and convenience. The South Korea market for consumer-ready food items has great potential.

80% of South Korea’s 48 million populations live in urban areas. Korea has a number of large cities. Seoul, that capital, has 22 million people. Busan, Inchon, Daegu, Daejeon, Gwangju and Ulsan and Suwon have populations between 3.7 million and 1 million.

Grocery retail sales totaled USD57.1 billion in South Korea with hypermarkets dominating the market taking a 44% share, followed by supermarkets, independent small grocery and convenience stores. The leading hypermarkets are E-mart, Homeplus, LotteMmart and Costco. The supermarket chain stores are Hanaro Mart, Homeplus Express, Lotte Super and GS Supermarket.

Hypermarkets and supermarkets are the major retail channels for imported food and beverage products in South Korea. Department stores are the main channel for high-end imported food and beverage products. Korean retailers rely on specialized importers and distributors of imported food products.

Grocery retailers are the main distribution channel for the USD21.84 billion packaged food market which consists of dried processed food products, diary, bakery, noodles and ice cream.

The mass grocery retail sector is reaching saturation point in the popular areas of urban cities. The convenience retail sector, with operators such as Family Mart, GS25, Seven Eleven, Buy the Way and Mini Stop, is relatively immature and expected to be the top performer in mass grocery retail growth.

Food and beverage internet retail sales totaled USD759 million in 2011, slightly hindered by the fact that some products such as wine are prohibited from internet sales. Hypermarkets and supermarkets are becoming more involved in internet retailing.

The food service market in South Korea was valued at USD61.5 billion in 2011 and a number of large franchise restaurant groups are showing rapid growth. Western-style food is increasing in popularity

Australia

Australia is a major agricultural producer and exporter, with over 325,300 employed in Agriculture, forestry and fishing as of February 2015. The agricultural sector, at farm-gate, contributes 3% to Australia’s total gross domestic product (GDP). The gross value of Australian farm production in 2010-11 was AUD48.7 billion. Yet this is only part of the picture. When the vital value-adding processes that food and fibre go through once they leave the farm are added in, along with the value of all the economic activities supporting farm production through farm inputs, agriculture’s contribution to the GDP averages out at around 12 percent (or AUD155 billion).

Australian farmers export around 60% of what they grow and produce. Australia’s farm exports earned the country AUD32.5 billion in 2010-11, up from AUD32.1 billion in 2008-09, while the wider agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors earn the country AUD36.2 billion in exports. The value of our farm exports, and indeed the future of Australian agriculture, depends largely on conditions in overseas markets, due to our high level of exports.

Australian farmers continue to face the challenge of declining terms of trade in agriculture, yet remain internationally competitive through efficiencies and productivity growth. The growth in the farm sector has increased steadily over the 30-year period from 1974-75 to 2003-04 at an average rate of 2.8 percent, consistently out-performing other sectors. In more recent times, agricultural productivity growth has slowed to 1% pa, illustrating the need for an increased spend on research and development to ensure the industry can meet the food and fibre needs of the growing world population.

Australian farmers and graziers own 135,997 farms, 99% of which are family owned and operated, covering 61% of Australia’s landmass.

Agricultural productivity has exhibited strong growth over the last three decades. Each Australian farmer produces enough food to feed 600 people, 150 at home and 450 overseas. Australian farmers produce almost 93% of Australia’s daily domestic food supply.

Major agricultural exports include wheat, barley, sugarcane, fruit, cattle, sheep and poultry as well as an increasing amount of processed or prepared food products, such as fish products, cheese and wine.

Across the country, there is a mix of irrigation and dry-land farming. The CSIRO, the federal government agency for scientific research in Australia, has forecast that climate change will cause decreased precipitation over much of Australia and that this will exacerbate existing challenges to water availability and quality for agriculture.

There are three main zones:

  1. the high rainfall zone of Tasmania and a narrow coastal zone (used principally for dairying and beef production);
  2. wheat, sheep zone (cropping (principally winter crops), and
  3. the grazing of sheep (for wool, lamb and mutton plus beef cattle) and the pastoral zone (characterized by low rainfall, less fertile soils, and large scale pastoral activities involving the grazing of beef cattle and sheep for wool and mutton).

The beef industry is the largest agricultural enterprise in Australia, and it is the second largest beef exporter, behind Brazil, to the world. All states and territories of Australia support cattle breeding in a wide range of climates.

Cattle production is a major industry that covers an area in excess of 200 million hectares. The Australian beef industry is dependent on export markets, with over 60% of Australian beef production exported, primarily to the United States, Korea and Japan. The industry gained an advantage after the discovery of BSE (also known as mad cow disease) in Canada, Japan and the United States, as Australia is free of the disease.

In contrast to breeding systems in other parts of the world, Australian cattle are reared on pasture as the principal source of feed. In southern Australia (NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and southwestern Western Australia) beef cattle are often reared on smaller properties as part of a mixed farming or grazing operation, but some properties do specialize in producing cattle. The southern calves are typically reared on pasture and sold as weaners, yearlings or as steers at about two years old or older. Artificial insemination and embryo transfer are more commonly used in stud cattle breeding in Australia, but may be used in other herds.

In the Top End, sub-tropical areas and in arid inland regions, cattle are bred on native pastures on expansive cattle stations. Anna Creek Station in South Australia, Australia is the world’s largest working cattle station. The North Australian Pastoral Company Pty Limited (NAPCO) is now one of Australia’s largest beef cattle producers, with a herd of over 180,000 cattle and fourteen cattle stations in Queensland and the Northern Territory. The Australian Agricultural Company (AA Co) manages a cattle herd of more than 585,000 head. Heytesbury Beef Pty Ltd owns and manages over 200,000 head of cattle across eight stations spanning the East Kimberley, Victoria River and Barkly Tablelands regions in Northern Australia. Most cattle from these regions are exported as manufacturing beef or as live animals under 350 kilograms live weight to South-East Asia for fattening in feedlots there.

Lamb has become an increasingly important product as the sheep industry has moved its focus from wool production to the production of prime lamb. The beef meat industry and the lamb industry are represented by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA).

Live export of cattle and sheep from Australia to Asia and the Middle East is a large part of Australian meat export. There are currently an estimated 2,000 pig producers in Australia, producing 5 million pigs annually. Although relatively small on the world stage (0.4% of world production), the industry provides a significant positive impact on local, regional, state, and national economies through income generation and employment. The pork industry contributes approximately AUD970m to Australia’s GDP and the supply chain contributes AUD2.6 billion to the GDP. The industry generates over AUD1.2 billion of household income, directly employing 6,500 full-time positions, and the supply chain employs 29,000 people. The Australian pork industry is represented by Australian Pork Limited, a producer-run company created by legislation.

Dairy products are Australia’s fourth most valuable agricultural export. Domestic milk markets were heavily regulated until the 1980s, particularly for milk used for domestic fresh milk sales. This protected smaller producers in the northern states who produced exclusively for their local markets.

Growth in the Australian dairy industry is dependent on expanding export markets. Exports are expected to continue to grow over time, particularly to Asia and the Middle East. As the Australian dairy industry grows, feedlot systems are becoming more popular. Feedlot dairy cows may be housed indoors for their entire lives, directing energy that would have been used walking on pasture into milk production.

Australia has one of the largest fishing zones in the world, covering 14 million square kilometres, about twice the area of Australia’s landmass (Source: Australian Government, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation) and extending 200 nautical miles out to sea. The fish that are caught in Australian waters are sold to countries all over the world, as well as all throughout Australia, because of their high quality. The four major overseas countries buying Australian fisheries produce are Japan, Hong Kong, USA and Chinese Taipei. These four countries accounted for 86% of total Australian seafood exports in 2008-09.

The top three exports are lobster, pearls and abalone. Australia sells around USD367 million worth of pearls each year.

The fisheries of Australia are not only important because of the export value of the fish they catch; the industry itself also employs many people, making it important not only to the economy but to communities as well. Australian fisheries export a range of high unit value seafood products, with export earnings accounting for 49% of the total production value in 2012–13. However, in global terms Australia is a minor player, producing less than 0.2% of global seafood supply.

  • Japan was the major export destination for Australian seafood products until 2004–05. Since then exports of Australia’s seafood products to Japan have continued to decline and the pattern of Australian seafood exports has shifted towards the Hong Kong, China and Vietnam region
  • Australian exports of seafood to Japan declined at an average annual rate of 7% in volume terms and 12% in real value terms between 2002–03 and 2012–13
  • Australia’s apparent consumption of seafood increased at an average annual rate of 3% between 2000–01 and 2012–13, from 248,515 tonnes to 345,326 tonnes.
  • Domestic seafood supply over this period grew by less than apparent consumption, at an average annual rate of 1%. Imports of seafood increased to fill the gap between demand and available domestic supply at an average annual rate of 4% between 2000–01 and 2012–13
  • In 2012–13 imports accounted for 66 per cent of Australia’s total apparent seafood consumption
  • Apparent per person consumption of seafood has increased at an average annual rate of 1% between 2000–01 and 2012–13, reaching 15 kilograms per person in that year.

Australia has close to 60,000 kms of mainland and island shorelines. These shorelines, especially the Great Barrier Reef, are providing motivation to help the continent by using seaweed (algae) to absorb nutrients. Because of the giant number of natural Australian seaweeds, not only could seaweed cultivation be used to help absorb nutrients around the GBR and other Australian shores, cultivation could also help feed a large part of the world.

Even the Chinese, who could be considered far more advanced in seaweed cultivation, are interested in the future of Australian seaweeds. Lastly, the GBR itself, because of the delicate corals, has lent itself to utilizing seaweed/algae purposely as a nutrient reduction tool in the form of algae. This has occurred in the form of algae scrubbers, and seaweed cultivators, which are now available for domestic use worldwide.

Wool is an important product of Australian agriculture. The Australian wool industry is widely recognized as producing the finest quality Merino wool. This is largely attributable to selective breeding and a superior genetic line.

The Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee (AWPFC) has set its forecast production for the 2014/15 season at 341 million kilograms greasy for the 2014/15 season, the same as the estimate for the 2013/14 season. The Committee’s first projection for 2015/16 has been set at 332 mkg, down by 2.7%.

However, it dominates the fine quality wool sector, producing 50% of the world’s Merino wool. Although sheep are farmed Australia-wide, 36% of the flock is in New South Wales. Although China is the largest producer of wool globally (400,000 metric tonnes), Australia, with 362,100 metric tonnes of annual production, dominates the world wool market. China is the largest wool buyer.

Research and development for the industry is led by Australian Wool Innovation Limited (AWI), a producer owned company. Australian wool is marketed by the Woolmark company. Both companies are held by Australian Wool Services, a company created by legislation.

The industry is export-oriented. Historically, up to 90% of Australian wool was exported. The industry has suffered from a lowering demand for natural fibres, and a decrease in wool prices worldwide.

Australia also produces considerable amounts of cotton. The majority of the cotton produced is genetically modified to be resistant to the herbicide glyphosate or to actively kill pests through the production of Bt toxin (Bt-cotton). Cotton is generally grown by irrigation.

Australia also produced large amounts of wheat, barley, fruit & nuts and sugarcane.

Australia also grows lots of potatoes; in fact, potatoes are Australia’s largest vegetable crop.

Australia has 9.4 million hectares of harvestable native forest, although only 1 percent of this is being harvested in any one year. Because such a small %age is cut down each year, these areas have many years in which to grow back. This is done because it mimics the natural growth cycle and disturbance of the forests.

There are many factors that must be looked at before a region will be logged, including soil type, tree types, the effect on flora and fauna, water catchments and erosion.

In Australia, both plantation forests and native forests are harvested. In New South Wales, scientists decide where trees can and cannot be cut down in native forests. These scientists ensure plants, animals and soils are conserved; they keep streams clean and make sure the forest grows back after logging. Native forests are only used if they can be carefully logged in a sustainable fashion.

Australia is one of only a small number of countries with the ability to increase its sustainable harvesting, which is excellent news for Australia because many other countries are expected to run out of forests due to over-harvesting and the lack of plantations, which in Australia are replanted and reused over again.

Today around 76,800 people are employed in the forestry industry, and throughout Australia there are about 1,100 mills, producing sawn timber mainly used for structural manufacturing.

Canola has become an important crop in Western Australia, with production in 2013 being 1.8 million tonnes worth just over 1 billion to the State economy. Nearly all WA canola production is exported predominantly into Asia for human use and to Europe for biofuels. The Department of Agriculture and Food, WA has a strong canola RD&E program with a focus on developing profitable agronomic packages and overcoming pest and disease constraints. Canola is Western Australia’s third largest crop after wheat and barley with production increasing to well over one million tonnes over the past five years on the back of rising world demand and prices.

Western Australia (WA) is the dominant Australian state for canola production, accounting for around 40% of the nation’s 5-year average production of 3.4 million tonnes. WA has a reputation for producing canola with a high oil content, often 2-4% above other states.

ASX – Agriculture

Agriculture stocks make up less than 1% of the All Ordinaries index (there are approximately 12 listed agriculture companies).

GC Partners Asia Capabilities

  1. GCP is uniquely positioned and committed, with experienced tertiary qualified bi-lingual staff, to provide investment banking, corporate finance and advisory services to companies involved with the Asian agriculture and food industry.
  2. We act for private companies and companies listed on the AIM (London), and ASX stock exchanges. Being located “on the ground” amongst the key Asian markets, GCP is attuned to local business conduct, processes & culture, news flow, corporate announcements, government policy and economic initiatives. Combined with regular contact and our long standing relationships with key industry participants, this equips us to best understand the demand and potential for corporate equity investment, sources of project equity, joint ventures, R&D collaboration, technology & know how transfer, and for market entry strategies and customer acquisition.
  3. With over 27 years of operations, GCP has assisted promoters of projects globally. With Australia’s proximity to the key Asian markets, and combined with GCP’s strong differentiation, we are able to assist a variety of agriculture and food companies with their financing requirements who have projects including development & production financing.