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Discuss about the Industry reforms in Tourism, Meat and livestock, Agriculture and hospitality in Australia.

Overview of Industry Reforms

Specifically, the Australian agriculture sector has been facing competition from other sectors of the economy, namely manufacturing and service industry (Batt 2015).However, in the year 2016-17, the contribution of the agricultural sector to the gross domestic product of Australia has been paramount to the gross domestic product growth. Particularly, Agriculture contributed 0.9 % of the 1.9% gross domestic product growth rate as per the ABRES statistics of 2016-17.The Australian agricultural sectors has experienced changed over the year. Some of the impacts of the changes negative and positive .From a positive point of view ,the demand of the Australian agricultural produce has increased over the years due to the increased market size, following the growing demand in China and other Asian nations. Also, the demand has risen due to the high productivity growth levels of agricultural produce over the years. Also, agricultural produces quality has improved over the years due to the incorporation of competitive and innovative farming practices by the Australian farmers.

Particularly, the Australian agriculture industry has benefitted from the reforms in terms of increased sales, increased income for farmers, increased employment opportunities and increased productivity and competitiveness in agricultural produce. Technological advances have taken place in the agricultural sector leading to innovative and efficient ways of farming. In addition, taxation benefits have been felt by the Australian farmers alongside protective legislations which safeguard the quality and health of their agricultural produce. Recent food and safety agreement between the United States and Australia has increased its exportation volume and consumption levels in the United States of America. Further, economic partnerships are being explored by the Australian government on behalf of its farmers for reduced tariffs and customs in the Pacific-Alliance agreement and the GCC among other potential economic partnerships. All in all, the agricultural sector reforms have been beneficial to the Australian farmers and other agri-based businesses.

Noteworthy ,the Australian government has made financial and technical funding for Australian farmers through the drought policy package(Kingswell 20130.Through the drought policy program, financial and technical training is offered to the farmers as a ways of curbing with the dry climatic conditions. the drought support is offered to farmers during and after the dry season. The impact of this drought policy has been increased production due to fact that adaptive farming practices have been adopted by the Australian farmers during this dry season .There has been an influx of agricultural produce volume for exportation over the years since the introduction of the drought funding and technical assistance. Through this training, farmers are better equipped to go about their farming activities despite the unfavorable weather conditions. Also, some employment opportunities have been saved as compared to previous years when the policy had not been introduced .Due to the fact that there was no much farming activities during the dry season, most workers were seasonally laid off during this seasons but due to adaptive and innovative farming practices and techniques for the dry season, agricultural laborers have retained their jobs during this harsh dry climatic seasons (Department of Agriculture and Water resources 2017).

Positive Impacts of Industry Reforms in Agriculture

In recent years, the market for Australian agricultural produce has grown tremendously. The Chinese and Asian economies alongside the United States of America are among the top exporters of Australian agricultural produce. This expansive market has triggered increased production of agricultural produce over the years .Also, over the years, the Australian government has pursued various trade partnerships for its agricultural produce. Currently, there are potential economic alliances such as the Pacific-Alliance FTA (Vanderneut 2018).In the event that the same is agreed upon by the respective countries, the Australian agricultural produce market will increase .By virtue of being a member of the European Union, the Australian farmers are beneficiaries of the single largest market in the European Region,the European Union market. Due to the free movement of goods and services, Australian farmers’ incomes have increased due to lack of trade barriers, tariffs and customs. Also ,due to the free trade market, the Australian exportation volume to the European market has increased over the years due to the available market, business efficiency and less cost of doing business thus translating into increased revenue for farmers and the government.

Further, there has been growing productivity rates in the Australian agricultural produce over the years(Advancing Agriculture N. d).The productivity levels of agricultural produce has increased due to the incorporation of innovative ways of production and the exposure of Australian farmers to consumer prices. The exposure has boosted the efficiency of agricultural produce and taken into account the consumer preferences (Fig 1) The fact that the farmers were exposed to consumer prices, their production has been directed at the consumer preferences .Due to this consumer oriented production, there has been an increase in prices for agricultural produce thus increased income for the Australian farmers over the years. Prior to the exposure ,Australian produce were not consumer preference oriented but after the exposure, there is a consumer inclination to the production habits of farmers which has boosted the sales volume of agricultural produce among the Australian population. In addition, there is increased consumption of Australian agricultural produce due to the consumer preference based production by the farmers. There has been massive income boost for farmers following the consumer price exposure.


Fig 1. (Future directions.Org 2014)

Moreover, the agriculture sector has impacted on the Australian labor participation over the years. Australian agricultural sector is one of the important sector of the economy which has employed a substantial part of the Australian population (Trading Economics 2017).As at 2017, the Australian agricultural sector was responsible for providing employment opportunities to 2.58 percent of the Australian population. Through the employment of workers in the agriculture sector, the level of income for the employed persons have gone up over the years. In addition to improved economic livelihoods, the employment of workers in the Australian sector has contributed to the overall Australian unemployment index and also contributed to the taxation revenue for the Australian government. Part of the income for farmers and other public sector employees is taxed by the Australian government as a matter of law. However, there were times over the past decade when the agricultural industry was in decline thus some employment opportunities were lost .In recent years, the performance of the Australian agriculture sector is improving and 2016-17 performance is proof of the growth.

Financial and Technical Assistance for Farmers

In addition, legislative changes have taken place in the sector over the years. Particularly, the Biosecurity Act which came into force in the year 2015 has made substantive changes as to the safety of agricultural produce from foreign threats (Thelander 2016).The object of this piece of legislation is to secure Australian agricultural produce from foreign pest and disease threats .The Act seeks to prevent the infection of domestic agricultural produce from contracting foreign diseases and pests which would mean additional costs for farmers. Since its inception, the Australian farmers produce has not been affected by any imported or foreign diseases and pests .The Act also provides a balance between foreign trade and protecting its agricultural industry from foreign elements of diseases and pests. Specifically, there is an export control bill of 2017 which is yet to be enacted into law. The Biosecurity Act seeks to protect farmers from having to incur expenses in treating foreign diseases and pest infection on their produce. Since the inception of the Act, there have been no incidences of imported diseases and pests affecting Australian agricultural produce.

Primarily, the Biosecurity Act is a modern approach to combating foreign spread of pests and diseases among the Australian agricultural sector through strict inspection and quarantine measures in the case of suspected importation of infected agricultural produce. The Biosecurity legislation is adequately equipped to deal with external threats of pests and diseases likely to affect Australian agricultural produce due to the fact that technological advancements in equipment and practices have been envisaged in the Australian Biosecurity framework. Regarding technological advancement, the Australian government is committed to the research and development initiatives in the field of  agriculture .Over the years, the Australian government has funded agri-based research initiatives and has even introduce competitive grant programs to encourage innovative ways and equipment development in farming(Gray ,Emer & Sheng 2014).Biotechnology ,biogenetics, biological and seasonal forecasting, drones and robots wired for agricultural purposes are some of the notable developments in the agricultural sector .Despite the technological advancement, human employment has been jeopardized with the invention of tea-picking machines and other developments.

Following the review of the Australian horticulture code, there has been improved quality and competitiveness of Australian agricultural produce(Commonwealth of Australia 2015).Through the food and grocery code of conduct, the quality of Australia’s grocery produce has improved thereby giving it’s a competitive advantage over other country’s exports. Also, the code has led to more sales volumes for foodstuffs and groceries due to the high standards for production, quality and packaging. Also, additional legislation was introduced for the flower cut industry. The Australian government made it mandatory for the importation of cut flowers to be free of all pests.This is an additional protective measure against foreign instances of pest outbreaks to the flower industry. Following the directive, there have been few, if not any instances of foreign pest infections in the flower industry in Australia thus the assertion that this mandatory requirement is working in favor of the Australian flower farmers. Additionally, imported flowers require a certificate (Plant protection organization certificate) which conditions seek s to adequately prevent foreign instances of pest infections on the Australian flower produce industry.

Export Markets for Agricultural Produce

Alongside respective codes of conduct, the Australian government has provided tax benefits for its farmers (Boyce & McCuskey 2016).Taxation is one of the most imperative fiscal policies towards income redistribution and promoting investment. Over the years, favorable taxation breaks, cuts, concessions and refunds have been availed to Australian farmers as way of encouraging expansion of small businesses and more investment into the sectors. The taxation benefits have led to the expansion of farming businesses, increased farmer’s incomes due to favorable taxation rates on their incomes and also sustained and created more employment opportunities .Favorable taxation frameworks have encouraged foreign and local farming businesses in setting up and expanding. The increased investment in agricultural produce has led to massive income for farmers, farm businesses, exporters and the Australian government. In addition, more employment opportunities have been created through expansion and setting up of farm based businesses due to friendly taxation regime over the years.

Notably, Australian research capabilities are among the best globally. Specifically, the Australians have made remarkable climate research which has led to adaptive and mitigative farming practices that have increased the production volume of agricultural produce over the years despite the harsh weather conditions. In addition, there has been increased production of agricultural produces due to the availability of subsidies for the agriculture sector (Clay 2013). .Mainly, the subsidies were issued by the Australian government to support the agricultural sector during its hard times. Through the subsidies, there was increased sales volumes of agricultural produce due to the increased production funded by subsidies. Also, various workers and farmers retained their jobs due to the subsidies that reduced the cost of farming for farmers during the hard economic times (Australian Farmers 2017).

Specifically, agricultural exports comprise a quarter of the Australian economy exports(Nations encyclopedia N. d).This assertion goes to show the role of the Australian agricultural sector importance to the overall growth and performance of the economy. The exportation of agriculture based produce boosts the exportation volume of the Australian economy hence a contribution to the exportation revenue for Australia. This exportation exercise creates employment opportunities for workers in export processing zones and other export based businesses in Australia. With the increased in exported volume of agricultural produce, many agri-based employment opportunities have been retained. Also, the Australian exportation volume of agricultural produce has been boosted with the recent signed food and safety recognition agreement between Australia and the United States of America (Export.Gov 2017).The increased export volume of agriculture produce in Australia has been boosted with the recent water industry infrastructure reforms(Department of Agriculture and Water resources N. d).

Increased Productivity in Farming

(Department of Agriculture Factsheet June 2016)

Fig.2

Primarily, the water reforms are meant to effectively allocate and manage water resources for irrigation purposes for the benefit of agricultural production. The water reforms are accommodative of modern challenges facing the sector (Pittar N .d).Overall, the Australian dairy market is deregulated since the year 2000.The Australian government financial and technical assistance during the adjustment phase created various changes in the dairy market. There was reduced production and consumption of dairy products following the adjustment phase which saw some dairy farmers phasing out of the industry. There was reduced investment in the dairy sector for a period of time due to the uncertainty phasing the industry after the adjustment and deregulation .During the early 2000, there was reduced exportation of Australian dairy produce due to the fact that some of the dairy farmers were leaving the markets and the industry was facing tough economic times. However, through government financial and technical assistance, the Australian dairy market is regaining its lost glory. The income of dairy farmers is on the rise due to increased production capacity and increased demand for dairy products, locally and abroad.

Conclusion

Overall, the Australian agriculture industry has undergone some changes over the years. The changes have left positive and negative effects on the industry performance. On a positive note, the financial assistance of government during the dairy market adjustment phase, subsidies, support during the drought policy and financial support for research and development have made positive changes to the industry such as increased production, productivity and competitiveness growth rates. The has been increased production and exportation of Australian agricultural produce due to the favorable business environment of taxation benefits which encourage investment into farming businesses. The Australian government support for research and development has made it possible to produce high quality produce and in surplus thus the increased exportation volume of Australian produce. In addition, the agricultural sector has created massive employment opportunities for the Australian population. However, employment opportunities might be threatened with the devolution of automated farm machines such as robots. Whereas machines are efficient and timely in nature, some laborers might be out of a job due to the substitution of labor.

Also water infrastructure reforms have made it possible for the conduct of farming activities in certain parts of the Australian economy. All in all, the Australian economy agriculture reforms have made positive impacts on the industry

References

Advancing Agriculture reform in the EU and Australia. (N .d).Australian government. [Online].Available at https://dfat.gov.au/geo/europe/european-union/Documents/advancing_agriculture.pdf[Accessed 22 May 2018].

Australian Farmers. (2017).Farm Subsidies in Australia: The Facts.Farmers.Org/[Online].Availeble at https://farmers.org.au/community/blog/farm-subsidies-australia-facts.html[Accessed 22 May 2018].

Australian Government. (2016).Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper. Government of Australia. [Online].Available at https://agwhitepaper.agriculture.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/ag-competitiveness-white-paper.pdf[Accessed 22 May 2018].

Batt, J.P.)2015).Australia’s strong pillar economy: Agriculture. The Conversation. [Online].Available at https://theconversation.com/australias-five-strong-pillar-economy-agriculture-40388[Accessed 22 May 2018]

Boyce & McCuskey. (2016).Tax In Agriculture. Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation. [Online].Available at https://www.mla.com.au/globalassets/mla-corporate/research-and-development/documents/industry-issues/final_taxinag-dec-2016-.pdf[Accessed 22 May 2018]

Clay, J. (2013).Are Agricultural subsidies causing more harm than good? The Guardian. [Online].Available at https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/agricultural-subsidies-reform-government-support[Accessed 22 May 2018]

Commonwealth of Australia 2015).Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper .Government of Australia. [Online].Available at https://agwhitepaper.agriculture.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/ag-competitiveness-white-paper.pdf[Accessed 22 May 2018]

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (2018).Australian government Assistance. Australian Government. [Online].Available at https://www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/drought/assistance[Accessed 22 May 2018]

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (N .d).Regulatory reform. Australian government. [Online].Available at https://www.agriculture.gov.au/about/commitment/deregulation[Accessed 22 May 2018]

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.(2018).15-2018-Implementation of new import conditions for fresh cut flowers and foliage from 1 March 2018.Australian Government.[Online].Available at https://www.agriculture.gov.au/import/industry-advice/2018/15-2018[Accessed 22 May 2018]

Department of Agriculture Factsheet June 2016(2016), Accessed 22 May 2018, <https://careersportal.ie/sectors/sectors.php?sector_id=2#.WwZZtEiFPIU

Future Directions.Org, 2014, Comparison of rates of National Agricultural productivity growth, Accessed 22 May 2018, < athttps://www.futuredirections.org.au/publication/australia-s-food-export-outlookGray .M. E., Emer, O.M & Sheng, Y. (2014).Australian Agricultural Productivity Growth. Australian Government. [Online].Available at https://www.oecd.org/tad/events/Mr.%20Merrilees_Agricultural%20productivity%20growth%20reforms%20opportunities.pdf[Accessed 22 May 2018]

Khan, J. (2015).The role of research and development in Economic Growth: A review. Munich Personal Repec Archive. [Online].Available at https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/67303/1/MPRA_paper_67303.pdf[Accessed 22 May 2018]

Kingswell, R. (2013).Australia’s farming future: Western Australia. The Conversation. [Online].Available at https://theconversation.com/australias-farming-future-western-australia-14150[Accessed 22 May 2018]

Koegh, M. (2017).Consolidation in Agriculture: Impacts to the farm, research and agribusiness. Australian Competition Commission. [Online].Available at https://www.accc.gov.au/speech/consolidation-in-agriculture-impacts-to-the-farm-research-and-agribusiness[Accessed 22 May 2018]

Langridge, P., Cordell, D., & D’ Occhio, M. (2014) .Agriculture in Australia: Growing more than our farming future. The Conversation. [Online].Available at https://theconversation.com/agriculture-in-australia-growing-more-than-our-farming-future-22843[Accessed 22 May 2018]

Mullen J & Orr, L. (2007).R & D: A good investment for Australian agriculture.PSU.edu [Online].Available at https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.173.4577&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Nations Encyclopedia. (N. d).Australia- Agriculture. Nations encyclopedia. [Online].Available at https://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/economies/Asia-and-the-Pacific/Australia-Agriculture.html[Accessed 22 May 2018].

Pittar, R. (N.D).Australia’s water reform experience and its impact on the Agricultural sector. O.E.C.D. [Online].Available at https://www.oecd.org/greengrowth/35468753.pdf[Accessed 22 May 2018]

Thelander, C. (2016).Biosecurity and Quarantine systems .Canster.Com [Online].Available at https://www.canstar.com.au/travel-insurance/what-is-the-new-biosecurity-act/[Accessed 22 May 2018]

Vanderneut, M. (2018). Agri-thinking: With a new federal Agriculture Minister, What can we expect in 2018? .KWM. [Online].Available at https://www.kwm.com/en/au/knowledge/insights/agrithinking-new-federal-agriculture-minister-what-can-we-expect-2018-20180130[Accessed 22 May 2018]

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