7105.0.55.004 - National Agricultural Statistics Review - Final Report, 2015  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/07/2015  First Issue
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All


Statistics relating to Australia’s agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries contribute to informed decision-making at both the micro and macro levels. At the micro level, individual businesses use statistics to inform their management and investment decisions. For example, businesses use market information, such as price trends, to decide when and where to sell their produce. Or they may use consumer demand information to adjust their production systems to target an emerging market. At the macro level, agricultural statistics support the following functions10:

    • legislative requirements. For example, statistics on the gross value of production (GVP) of commodities are required to determine the level of matched government research and development (R&D) funding to Research and Development Corporations (RDCs) under the Primary Industries Research and Development Act 1989
    • decision-making, policy-making and program monitoring within government and industry. For example, statistics on the uptake of support provided by government programs have been used to guide the development and monitoring of farm business and farm household assistance packages by government; data on farm performance have supported the design, delivery and evaluation of R&D and marketing programs by industry and the RDCs
    • international reporting requirements and obligations. Statistics on Australian agriculture and fisheries are used by international bodies to monitor global food and fish stocks11; and data on chemical residues in food and feed commodities are exchanged with international bodies and with importing countries to support Australian industries to maintain access to international markets12.
    • supporting systems for the trading and distribution of agricultural products. Statistics on market prices and commodity stocks are used by industry organisations to monitor elements of demand and supply at both national and global levels and to support the sale, distribution and marketing of agricultural, fisheries and forestry products. Government uses statistics on export values and volumes to prioritise and progress its market access activities to target products and markets that yield successful outcomes for Australian industries
    • cost sharing arrangements between the Commonwealth government, state governments and industry bodies. For example, Commonwealth, state/territory and industry cost sharing arrangements for emergency pest and disease responses is based on accurate calculations of the GVP of potentially affected industries
    • information to guide decisions about long-term investment strategies by both government and the private sector. Governments and industry bodies use farm performance measures, for example, productivity growth, to identify research and development needs and priorities for agricultural producers.
Stakeholders are increasingly requiring timely, high-quality and integrated statistics to support informed decision-making in relation to all of the above functions. This was evident from the high level of participation in the NASR from stakeholders across Commonwealth and state/territory governments, industry and the research sector. While these organisations vary in their aims and functions, at the broadest level, stakeholders are generally working towards a common vision for Australia’s agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries. This vision can be represented by a set of ‘enduring goals’, developed by the NASR to provide a framework for identifying priority information needs in the system and assessing the capacity of the system to meet these needs.


10 Adapted from Vogel, FA 2002, Framework for Agricultural Statistics in Australia, and from submissions provided to NASR by government departments and industry bodies about how they use agricultural statistics.
11 The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) uses agricultural statistics provided by ABS and ABARES to monitor global food security and the state of global agriculture in general. International obligations also require Australian fisheries data to be provided to international fisheries management bodies such as Regional Fisheries Management Organisations for stock assessment purposes—a reporting function undertaken by ABARES.
12 The Department of Agriculture, through the National Residue Survey, reports on chemical residues in food and animal feed moving in international trade. Disclosure of residue information supports industries to maintain their international and domestic market access. The Department shares this information with overseas and international bodies, such as the Codex Committee on Pesticides Residues and the Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods (established by FAO and WHO), to contribute to the setting and review of international residue standards.