The budget estimation in the sector for 2017-18 is $339.5 million. The aid strategy recognises that the agriculture and fisheries sectors provide livelihoods for millions of workers, particularly in rural areas. These are also the sectors underpinning food security and nutrition. Australia also sees the sectors, as the ones that will require strategic investments in order to respond to the growing challenge of climate change and food demand. Optimising the potential of the sectors and adapting the production practices will be the biggest challenge of development policy.
Overall, the strategy for Australia’s aid investment in agriculture, fisheries and water aims to “promote prosperity, reduce poverty and engage stability”. To reach these overarching goals, the government will prioritise its efforts in three areas:
- Strengthening markets – ensuring access to markets for smallholder farmers and leveraging private sector investments and innovation;
- Innovating productivity and sustainable resource use – improving productivity along the food and agricultural value chains, while sustainably using natural resources
- Promoting effective policy, governance and reform – supporting sustainable and inclusive growth and open trade, and improving the environment for business, investments and innovations.