Australian survey seeks to understand the modern grower

Rural Bank, a subsidiary of Bendigo Bank, has contracted the Regional Australia Institute to contract a survey which seeks to understand the ambitions of a highly motivated modern farmer, reports

Anecdotally, while some farmers are shifting to free up capital, by leasing land instead of owning it, others are using the latest technology and striking contracts with the supply chain to grow.

"For us it's about understanding the sector," said Andrew Smith, the general manager of agribusiness at the Rural Bank.

"Across well over 100,000 farms, we deal with those [small-scale farms], but the growth segment tends to be in the middle to large farming enterprise.

"But we're not forgetting that people on the emerging side of the curve may well have had a mature business and therefore have good experience and skills."

The Regional Australia Institute claimed this was "the most comprehensive study ever undertaken into Australian agriculture".

CEO Jack Archer said if Australian agriculture was to nearly double its value to $100 billion by 2030, it would need to attract motivated entrepreneurs.

"We know we've got corporate agriculture, [it's] an important part of the sector, but the heart of the sector remains the small and medium size, often family run, [farms].

"What the sector really needs is ambitious entrepreneurs who can grow their businesses, be the targets for investment - foreign or domestic - and be the next growth phase of agricultural businesses."

The survey of modern farm entrepreneurs will also seek to map the economic and social role farmers play in their communities.

It's an anonymous survey, which is available on the Rural Bank website, and is open until November 4.

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