Agricultural development opportunities across Northern Australia are vast but a more targeted approach is needed to attract and support quality investment, according to a new Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia’s (CRCNA) report published today.

The Northern Australia Agriculture Investor Identification report is the result of a 6-month study led by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in collaboration with Austrade to analyse the agricultural investment environment in Northern Australia and develop an investor typology which categorises and identifies potential investors for the region.

PwC’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Advisory lead partner, Sean O’Meara, explains the report highlights some of the well-known impediments to agricultural development in Northern Australia, and provides a set of clear strategic recommendations and pathways on how to link up the right investor with the right investment.

“Some of the themes identified in the report which underpin challenges facing the Northern Australian agricultural sector include the lack of enabling infrastructure, such as water and transport, the complexities involved in land ownership and accessing natural resources and the absence of complete information to enable an informed investment decision for domestic and international investors.”

Austrade’s Senior Investment Specialist – Agribusiness and Food, Anne-Maree Weston said the team has worked hard to ensure their report wasn’t just about identifying impediments.

“This report works through investor success stories and highlights the opportunities which are available – if a nuanced and targeted approach is taken to identify and attract quality investors for Northern Australia.

“The report also includes a framework which can be used to categorise and target investor types – ensuring the right investor is being matched with the right sort of investment,” she said.

CRCNA CEO Jed Matz said the report shows Argentina, Brazil and Canada are the “best options” for attracting investment in Northern Australia.

“These countries may not seem the obvious choice for investors, but these have been the standouts in this research.

“PwC’s market scoping reports provide detailed insights into the key attributes of the top 20 potential investors outlined in the report.

“While this report doesn’t give us all the answers, it does provide industry groups, governments investment attraction tools to start to work more strategically and collaboratively in this space.

“The CRCNA will continue to play an important role in supporting the report’s recommendations and next steps,” he said.

Read the full Northern Australia Agriculture Investor Identification report.