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Welcome to 2012: the Australian Year of the Farmer

1 January 2012

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has heralded the start of the new year, calling on all Australians to join with agriculture in celebrating the Australian Year of the Farmer.

National Farmers’ Federation President Jock Laurie says 2012 is shaping up to be one of the most positive years on record for Australian farmers.

“The beginning of 2012 brings with it improved seasonal conditions across most of Australia, favourable commodity prices, a weakening Australian dollar and a forecast that the value of farm exports is expected to rise some six percent,” Mr Laurie said.

“There has never been a better time to be a farmer - and the story of Australian agriculture reflects this. The growth in the farm sector over the past 20 years has consistently outperformed other sectors, and was a key reason Australia avoided a recession during the global financial crisis.

“The prospects for agriculture are huge, with the need to feed, clothe and house a booming world population. World population growth will continue to expand to over nine billion by 2050, driving demand for both quality and quantity of food and fibre, as well as availability of arable land and water. We are entering the ‘Asian century’ and we are well placed to capitalise on this.

“Agriculture has an enormous uptake of new technology, we have thousands of jobs available, we contribute $32 billion in export income to the economy, we manage some 61 percent of Australia’s land, and we produce the clean, healthy, fresh food that Australian families, and indeed families across the world, enjoy.

“This year, the focus on farming via the Australian Year of the Farmer will help us tell the great story of agriculture and raise awareness about the enormous contribution of our farmers.

“At the same time, the NFF will this year be working with the agricultural industry and the wider supply chain to develop the Blueprint for Australian Agriculture - one of the most ambitious and innovative programs ever undertaken to set a road map for the future of the farming sector.

“We look forward to working with farmers and all within agriculture this year to celebrate the Australian Year of the Farmer, and to develop the Blueprint for Australian Agriculture,” Mr Laurie said.

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