Accounting for all agriculture-based employment, including input and output sectors – food manufacturing and processing, distribution and retail – agriculture provides employment for more than 1.6 million Australians.
Australia has an historic economic cycle of boom and bust, but throughout these cycles agriculture has remained an employment engine for the country and for regional Australia.
Increasing demand for Australian produce from Asia and other markets requires a more skilled, more flexible, more diverse agriculture-based workforce – and regional Australia can only benefit from that.
 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, Labour force, Australia, cat. no. 6291.0.55.003, August 2015),  (Australian Food and Grocery Council, State of the Industry, 2015),  (Retailer and Supplier Roundtable Ltd, August 2014)
Technical advancements of rural industries, adoption of new technology, global marketplaces at the touch of a screen, logistics, new product development, consumer taste, resource allocation, the rise of big data across enterprises: these are some of the macro-trends agriculture exploits. RDCs’ support of primary producers means they understand and can act on these trends, maintaining a competitive advantage.
Research and development fundamentally increases the value of agricultural businesses, and uptake itself often requires new skills and capabilities in end-users, or the purchase of those skills and capabilities.
Project-based work sponsored by RDCs brings new, highly-skilled jobs to regional Australia; a long-term spin-off is demand for new, more capable labour and increasingly vibrant regional communities.