The Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, has released a rural R&D policy statement which aims to promote greater collaboration on research, efforts to increase investment, and a drive to improve the adoption of innovation across the sector.


“The current rural R&D model has proven results, with rural productivity in Australia increasing at more than twice the rate of other industries’ in this country in recent decades,” Mr Ludwig said.


“This policy statement builds on the strengths of the RDC model, including the strong partnership we have with industry in funding and setting priorities.”


The policy statement includes the government’s final response to the Productivity Commission’s inquiry report on Rural RDCs and the National Strategic Rural R&D Investment Plan.


Key changes include:

  • measuring performance across the broader rural R&D system
  • greater collaboration of RDCs on cross-sectoral research such as soils and climate change
  • enabling RDCs to undertake marketing if requested by industry and funded by a dedicated levy
  • matching government funding for private voluntary contributions where research findings are public; and
  • moves to attract more private domestic and international investment.

“This statement goes hand in hand with work we’re already doing as part of the National Food Plan green paper which asks whether the best way to increase innovation and productivity over the medium to long term is to increase investment in rural R&D,” Mr Ludwig said.


“Research and development underpins future productivity and innovation within our rural industries. It drives growth, maintains our competitiveness internationally, and means rural Australia can make the most of opportunities and respond to challenges.

The statement and more information is available on the DAFF website.