Victoria's agriculture and food industries

The statistics below provide an overview of the current state of Victorian agriculture, covering key aspects of Victorian agriculture: its value of production, its contribution to employment, food and fibre exports, land use and the number of farm businesses. We have sourced the statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) unless otherwise stated.

Gross value of agricultural production

Victoria’s gross value of agricultural production (GVAP) was $17.5 billion in 2020–2021, a decrease of 1.6 per cent from 2019–2020. Victoria is Australia’s second largest agricultural producer by value, with Victoria’s GVAP representing 25 per cent of Australia’s GVAP.

The major commodities produced in Victoria (by gross value in 2020–2021) were:

Commodity Gross value ($ billion)
Dairy 2.86
Beef 2.58
Sheep meat 1.90
Grains 3.55
Fruit and nuts 2.02
Wool 0.71
Vegetables 1.10
Other agriculture * 2.68
Total17.54

* ‘Other Agriculture’ includes Hay, Nurseries, Cut Flowers or Cultivated Turf, Eggs, Poultry and Other Meat

Employment in agriculture production and food industries

In 2020–21, a total of 150,080 persons were employed in agriculture production and food manufacturing:

  • 67,630 in agriculture production
  • 82,450 in food and beverage manufacturing.

Of all states, Victoria had the largest number of persons employed in agriculture and food industries, contributing 24 per cent to the agriculture and food employment in Australia. According to ABS data, there are an additional 1,800 persons employed in forestry and 5,900 in agriculture, forestry and fishing support services. More than 75 per cent of employment in agriculture production is in regional Victoria.

Of the agricultural industries in Victoria, dairy was the largest employer, followed by beef cattle, grains and sheep industries:

IndustryNumber employed
Dairy12,950
Beef cattle10,640
Grains9,710
Sheep9,200
Fruit and nuts7,540
Vegetables6,570
Amenity horticulture5,890
Poultry2,480
Other livestock2,650
Agriculture total 67,630

Number of farm businesses

There were 21,600 farm businesses in Victoria in 2020–21, accounting for 25 per cent of farm businesses in Australia. Victoria’s farm numbers have declined by 4 per cent per annum in the past decade, falling from 32,400 in 2010–11 to 21,600 in 2020–21.

Farms producing beef cattle are the most common type of farms in Victoria. Most farms produce more than one commodity, especially among farms producing sheep, cropping and beef cattle.

  • 10,200 farms produce beef cattle
  • 8,500 farms produce sheep
  • 4,100 farms produce grains
  • 3,400 farms produce dairy
  • 2,850 farms produce horticulture for human consumption

Area under farming

The area of land used for agriculture production in Victoria was 11.4 million hectares in 2020–21, or 50 per cent of the state’s total land area. Of the total agricultural land, 42 per cent was used for cropping and 57 per cent for grazing.

Food and fibre exports

Victoria is Australia's largest producer of food and fibre products. The state represents 27 per cent of total Australian food and fibre export value. Victoria's food and fibre exports decreased by $476 million to $14.0 billion in 2020-21 from a record $14.5 billion in the 2019–20 period. Victoria’s food and fibre exports in 2020-21 comprises:

  • $11.1 billion of food exports
  • $2.9 billion of fibre exports.

Victoria's top-earning agricultural exports are:

  • meat – $3.3 billion
  • grains - $2.6 billion
  • dairy – $2.1 billion
  • animal fibre – $1.4 billion
  • horticulture – $1.4 billion
  • prepared foods – $1.2 billion
  • wine – $322 million.

China, USA, Japan, New Zealand and Indonesia were the most valuable markets for Victorian food and fibre exports in 2020–21, accounting for 52 per cent of Victoria’s food and fibre exports.

Victorian agriculture interactive map

This interactive map provides access to a wide range of agricultural data including processing and production information for the different industry sectors as well as environmental and infrastructure data.

Invest in Victorian Agriculture

Discover more about the excellent investment opportunities available across Victoria’s agriculture and food processing sectors.

Invest in Victorian Agriculture
Page last updated: 15 Dec 2022