Disasters force farmers to think of selling

Rural Aid CEO, John Warlters, said the Pulse of the Paddock survey details the toll consecutive disasters have taken on our farming communities.

A spate of consecutive natural disasters and associated financial pressures are cited as two of the key reasons why more than two-thirds of Australian farmers are considering selling their farms, the results of Rural Aid’s inaugural farmer survey have revealed.

The ‘Pulse of the Paddock’ report shows many farmers are in need of diverse support measures, particularly mental health and wellbeing, to continue to supply quality food to Australian and international tables and contribute to the overall health and prosperity of communities across the country.

The survey revealed:

80 per cent of farmers believe people do not value the work and effort that goes into producing food

76 per cent of farmers rate their mental health as poor, very poor or average

70 per cent have considered selling their farm in the past 12 months due to natural disasters and financial pressure

45 per cent say their mental health has declined in the past 12 months.

Rural Aid CEO, John Warlters, said the survey raises issues he believed every Australian should take heed of, given 93 per cent of food eaten in Australia is produced right here on domestic farms.

“Farmers form the first link in the agricultural supply chain that connects the producer with the consumer,” Mr Warlters said.

“We need to take their fears seriously, and actively help them to stay on the land,” he said.