Agricultural economics

Agricultural and resource economics addresses the economic and policy issues associated with agricultural production, marketing, and trade, and the management of natural resources, including land, water, fisheries, and forests.

Members of this professional group are trained to have a thorough
understanding of microeconomic and macroeconomic principles, detailed
applied knowledge of agriculture, agribusiness, the natural environment, and rural development, and a wide range of analytical tools.

Agricultural and resource economists are concerned about global issues such as food security, rural poverty, international trade in agricultural and resource commodities, the impact of economic activity on the environment, the utilisation and conservation of natural resources, and the impact of research and technological change on agricultural production and natural resources. 

Agricultural Economics graduates can find employment as:

  • Research and policy officers in state and national government departments and international organisations
  • Research and management roles in bilateral and multilateral development agencies, consultancies and NGOs
  • Extension and advisory staff in state government departments and private businesses
  • Research officers with universities, government departments, ABARES, and CSIRO
  • Managers and analytical staff in financial institutions
  • Analysts in agribusiness companies
  • University-based teachers and researchers

The University offers the following study options:

School academics in this field:

Agricultural and resource economics research being undertaken within the School includes:

  • Examination of alternative models for involving smallholders in oil palm production in Malaysia and Indonesia
  • Analysis of smallholder teak production in Laos and the implications for agrarian change
  • Comparative research of pressures on shifting cultivation systems in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Laos
  • Developing agricultural policies for rice-based farming systems in Laos and Cambodia
  • Economics of smallholder cattle production, marketing, and policy in Indonesia
  • Analysis of agricultural policies and markets, grassland degradation and smallholder livelihoods in China
  • Economic analysis of forage-livestock systems in western China
  • Analysis of grassland degradation and policies
  • Analysis of specialty product markets in China
  • Policy and market analysis of ruminant livestock industries in China and Sino-Australian trade in ruminant livestock products


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