The number of farms around the world could be halved over the coming decade, as demand for land has grown and farmers are able to sell more land to investors, according to a new study.
The study, which has been presented at the Australasian Agricultural Research Society (AAARS) in Melbourne, said the shift to fewer and fewer farms was “an inevitable part of changing times”.
“The shift is happening across a wide spectrum of agriculture from the most basic to the most complex,” said lead author, Professor Paul Davenport.
“Agricultural land is becoming less available due to rising land costs, and the need for new agricultural land, especially in Australia, has increased substantially.”
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released a new snapshot of Australian agricultural land use in January.
It shows that about 2.8 per cent of the total Australian agricultural landscape is used by a single farm.
That is down from 4.3 per cent in the previous year.
The main drivers of the shift are falling commodity prices and rising population, which are contributing to a huge expansion in farmland.
“The changes are mainly happening in the agriculture industry, where there is a strong correlation between demand and prices,” said Professor Daven to the ABC.
“But there are also other industries that are experiencing changes.”
There is a clear correlation between the supply of land and prices.
“We have to ask ourselves what will be the future of agriculture?” he said.
“It is a question that has been answered in terms of demand for farmland and land.”AAP