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Australian farmers don’t rely on subsidies

Media Release 29 May 2020

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud says a research report released today by Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARES) confirms Australia’s farmers are among the least subsidised in the world.

“This work by our nation’s most respected agricultural research body clearly sets out that our farmers don’t need to rely on handouts to thrive,” Minister Littleproud said.

“They work mighty hard off their own bat to produce the safe and fresh food trusted by all Australians and sought after by the world.

“In fact, Australia has one of the lowest levels of agricultural support across the 37 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member countries even when compared to major emerging economies.

“This report shows that subsidies can actually hold agriculture back.

“Recent OECD research also points to the fact that countries that have lower subsidies have agricultural sectors that perform better, with their farm incomes growing faster than heavily subsidised ones.

“We will always back our farmers and stand shoulder to shoulder with them when the times get tough.

“But the Australian Government recognises that investing in agricultural innovation and biosecurity, incentivising biodiversity efforts and opening up trade opportunities are the keys to unlocking growth.

“This report supports our view that removing subsidies actually spurs overall sector growth, increases participation in global markets and the contribution agriculture makes to the economy.”

The ABARES report highlights the importance of agricultural markets that are free from subsidies and protection and their role on promoting global food security.

Read the ABARES Analysis of government support for Australian agricultural producers here or visit