As is well known, every great country has to take great care with the maintenance of agriculture and livestock to satisfy the food and commercial needs of its people. A great example of a nation that knows how to optimally manage these resources is Australia, where despite only 4% of the working population is responsible for agriculture and livestock, has a broad prosperity.
As far as the field of crops is concerned, with only 6.5% of the Australian land surface, all the cities can be supplied without problems, in addition to providing important economic gains.
It is important to mention that of all the land used for agriculture 45% is dedicated entirely to the cultivation of wheat, which is carried out with the latest advances in technology. Among other crops that cannot be missed in the Australian harvest include oil seeds, corn, cotton, barley, oats, rice, rye and even tobacco.
In addition, lately it has been chosen to increase the diversity of crops giving more profits for the Australian state. In general, in recent years, more than nine million tons of wheat have been produced from crops, of which 70% of the harvest is for export. Another important fact is the more than 35 million tons of sugarcane that is collected each year in the country.
The cattle sector arose in times of colonization, when the first Spanish merino sheep from South Africa were introduced. Pastures today occupy almost 90% of the territory. About a third of the sheep and an even larger percentage of cattle are raised on the huge properties, known as ‘stations’, of semi-arid Australia. Australia is the largest producer and exporter of wool in the world, especially that of merino sheep. In 2006 there were 100 million sheep, which produced 519,660 t of wool and 41,000 t of lamb.
Forestry and fishing
Forests cover only 21.1% of the Australian territory. Coniferous plantations provide the majority of commercial timber. Eucalyptus forests are used for the production of paper and furniture. Approximately 9.4 million hectares of forest are permanently protected in state reserves. In 2006, wood production was 33.9 million cubic meters.
The waters of Australia contain more than 2,000 species of fish and a great variety of marine life, although the annual catch is relatively small. Pearls and troca shells are collected on the north coast since the beginning of the 19th century. Darwin, Broome and Thursday Island are today the most important oil centres. Until the end of the 1970s, Australia has an important whaling activity; they abandoned due to the fact that they joined the international cooperation agreement to preserve the population of cetaceans.