Thu 06, Sep 2018
A combination of poor energy productivity and high energy prices is resulting in decreased agricultural productivity in Australia, according to the latest Policy Statement from Ag Institute Australia (AIA).
AIA recognises that reliable, secure and cost-effective energy, and its management, is an essential component for a strong, national primary production sector.
The Energy Policy Statement sets out elements of energy and its management as an input to agricultural production, something once taken for granted as secure and relatively predictable.
AIA Chair Dr Turlough Guerin says as price-takers, the majority of farmers, landowners and primary producers cannot readily pass these rising costs from energy use to their supply chains.
“This means Australian primary producers are being forced to find ways of reducing these costs, procuring or renegotiating supply contracts, and in some instances slowing or cutting back on production,” he explains.
“The opportunity associated with this is, in many instances, renewable energy sources are and will be a contributor to enhancing productivity throughout the primary production supply chain, because they are becoming the lowest cost forms of energy.
“This investment will stimulate new industry sectors and encourage new avenues for trades and employment, many of which will enhance the viability of regional cities, towns and farms.”
The AIA, which represents advisors, scientists and specialists across Australian agriculture, has a stake in the productivity of Australian primary producers and has an important role in influencing the farm sector.
“This Energy Policy is designed to increase the awareness of our members and the sector more generally to the importance of energy as an input into agricultural production,” Dr Guerin says.
“With this policy in hand, AIA members will be better prepared to help ensure primary producers can improve energy productivity in their production systems, that is, the agricultural output per unit of energy input.
“We know producers are always finding ways of being more innovative to tackle the challenges they face. I think we will find energy management in Australian agriculture will continue to
change as new sources come online and as producers adapt to the rising prices, and their need for more secure sources of this critical farming input continues to increase.”
You can find the AIA Energy Policy here - https://bit.ly/2NLtPC3.