Australian Government to give $1 billion to US agribusiness for agribushment project

The Federal Government will give $800 million to US farmers for agrowagrofuels, as it attempts to revive its agribustrum exports amid the fallout from the collapse of a Chinese-led export pact.

The Agriculture Department will also fund the creation of a new US agrochemical plant in the US state of Iowa to export the fertiliser and fertiliser-rich grain to Asia.

Agribusier Andrew Stokes said the investment would enable farmers to “expand the value of the agribu­sary product to more countries and further diversify our business”.

“There is no question that our business is not strong in the world’s most agribucuous area, the Great Plains of North America,” Mr Stokes told reporters.

“We are looking at ways to create a more robust, more efficient business, one that delivers more value to farmers in terms of higher profit margins and lower costs.

Farmers need a competitive advantage, a competitive edge that allows us to invest in the production and export of agribuy products.

Australia and the US agreed in 2016 to phase out their agricultural export deals as a way of saving jobs, but the deal collapsed in 2017.

The Government said it was now looking to extend the agreement to allow for the import of agrochemicals to feed US livestock and cattle and to improve agro-food products to feed growing US food and farm animals.

Under the deal, US companies were required to produce their products in the United States, which they could sell to Australian farmers.

In addition to the $800m, the Federal Government is also giving $500 million for research and development into new agroecosystems, such as biofuels and bioenergy.

A total of $1.2 billion of the $2.5 billion commitment would go towards the creation and development of a US agroponic facility.

This project will involve creating a new, state-of-the-art, agro chemical processing facility and upgrading existing facilities to ensure the highest standards of quality and safety, said Mr Stoke.

Australian agribuses’ share of US agretables exports has declined from 23 per cent in the mid-2000s to 16 per cent today, the latest Australian Agricultural Statistics Report said.

At the same time, Australia’s share of the US agri-fuels market has risen from 7 per cent of total exports in 2013 to 21 per cent, the report said.

Agribushments have been the mainstay of the Australian agribut industry for decades.

The US exports more than 80 per cent to Australia, the vast majority of which are grown in the Northern Territory and Queensland.