Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

The Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries sector is made up of organisations in farming, growing, fishing, forestry, hunting and trapping and agricultural services.

The sector includes 174,700 organisations, which employ 319,000 people mainly “mum and dad” farmers, who make up 93% of the sector.

Employment in the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector has declined over the past fifteen years, but it continues to provide jobs for more than 300,000 workers, 82% of which are in regional Australia.

The sector is continually challenged by the volatility of market prices and weather. There are few direct technology threats to farmers and producers in the Agriculture sector and technology even provides tools to help manage commodity price and weather fluctuations.

Facts & figures

Employment:    319,000

Organisations:    174,700

  • Employing:


  • Self-employed:



  • Avg Salary:


  • Avg weekly:


Opportunity & Threat


Historically, technology has provided ways for farmers to become more productive and efficient. Sensors, drones, robots, imaging, planting, harvesting, fertilising, weighing, weather systems and farm management systems offer farmers the tools to be even more productive. So technology offers farmers opportunities. This raises new challenges for farmers in understanding how technology can help.

Blockchain can be used to record where food originated, was packed, inspected, transported and exported to allow quality validation, as well as management of disease and pest control.

The digitisation of the supply chain through the Internet of Things offers real time information and transparency, to improve procurement, transport, food manufacturing and quality control.


A major threat to farmers is the “control of destiny” – re data, not just on individual farms but locally and across regions and states. Farmers have to own and manage data (intellectual property) generated on their farms in their own best interests, for today and tomorrow.

This means farmers and farming associations have to collaborate within a region to ensure the insights generated from shared data are leveraged sustainably and in farmers’ best interests.

 Connectivity also raises new challenges in Cybersecurity and management of more complex ICT systems. And connectivity in regional Australia remains a barrier in some regions.


The main coronavirus challenge to agriculture is the reduction of the “picking” workforce, due to travel and social restrictions.

There are impacts to export markets through disruption to supply chain and logistics in overseas markets, which could constrain demand for Australian products. This may also impact imported goods such as chemicals and agricultural machinery parts and services. It is expected that these impacts will be short term and medium term prospects remain strong.

Drone Use and Innovation in Turf grass

Scientist Bill Kreuser, discusses how drones are evolving the precision and innovation of science today specifically in turf grass.

Drone surveys can capture data of value to farmers, identifying issues including compaction, moisture, pest and fungal infestation and weeds. Every place that turf is under stress shows up in imaging. Data can be captured by a variety of sensors and cameras including infrared, thermal, multi-spectral and natural gamma.
Drones can even be used for precision variable rate application of liquid pesticides, fertilisers and herbicides. Drones are also used in agricultural insurance and assessment, providing an accurate estimate of loss or damage.
Although drones provide an eye in the sky, the real strength comes from data processing and analytics after data is collected.

Case Study

Job & Study options

Jobs options

jobactive is the Australian Government’s free service that connects job seekers with employers, delivered by a network of jobactive providers across Australia. The jobactive website will help you to find out more about jobactive and to find your local provider. Job seekers can also call the Employment Services Information Line on 13 62 68.

Job Outlook can help you make decisions about study and training, getting your first job, or the next step in your career. It provides information about Australian careers, labour market trends and employment projections. This website provides more detailed statistical information for the occupations included in the Australian Jobs Occupation Matrix.

Job Jumpstart website is a one-stop-shop for practical, independent and free employment planning advice.

What’s Next? The What’s Next? website provides a range of online resources to help workers facing retrenchment to manage the transition to their next job as quickly as possible.

Skills options

Australian Apprenticeships provides information on apprenticeships and traineeships, including factsheets and links.

Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching  provides information about Australian universities, including study experiences and employment outcomes.

MYSKILLS  is an online database of Vocational Education and Training options, including information about providers, courses, outcomes and fees.  for information on training packages, qualifications, courses, units of competency and Registered Training Organisations.

National Centre for Vocational Education Research  provides research and statistics about Vocational Education and Training and the links between education and the labour market.

myfuture is an online career exploration service which includes information on a range of career-related topics.

Sector categories

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