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 $17.8 billion in 2019–2020, an increase of 12 per cent from 2018–2019. Victoria Australia’s largest agricultural producer by value, with Victoria’s GVAP representing 29 per cent of Australia’s GVAP.

The major commodities produced in Victoria (by gross value in 2019–2020) were:

Commodity Gross value ($ billion)
Dairy 3.01
Beef 2.91
Sheep meat 2.21
Grains 2.98
Fruit and nuts 2.02
Wool 0.77
Vegetables 1.11
Other agriculture 2.82
Total17.83

Employment in agriculture production and food industries

In 2020–21, a total of 146,600 persons were employed in agriculture production and food manufacturing:

  • 74,800 in agriculture production
  • 71,800 in food and beverage manufacturing

Of all states, Victoria had the largest number of persons employed in agriculture and food industries, contributing 28 per cent to the agriculture and food employment in Australia. According to ABS data, there are an additional 1,400 persons employed in forestry and 5,100 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, beef cattle was the largest employer, followed by sheep and grains industries:

IndustryNumber employed
Beef cattle18,783
Sheep12,914
Grains9,560
Dairy cattle8,096
Other fruit7,625
Vegetables5,314
Other livestock4,084
Other agriculture4,051
Poultry1,895
Nuts1,233
Wine grapes1,209

Number of farm businesses

There were 21,700 farm businesses in Victoria in 2019–20, 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 21,700 in 2019–20.

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.

  • 10,000 farms produce beef cattle
  • 8,600 farms produce sheep
  • 5,900 farms produce grains
  • 3,500 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 11.3 million hectares in 2019–20, or 50 per cent of the state’s total land area. Of the total agricultural land, 42 per cent was used for cropping and 52 per cent for grazing.

Food and fibre exports

Victoria is Australia's largest producer of food and fibre products, and these make up over half of Victoria's total product exports. The state represents 26 per cent of total Australian food and fibre export value. Victoria's food and fibre exports increased by $0.3 billion to reach a record $14.5 billion for the 2019–20 period, comprising:

  • $11.4 billion of food exports
  • $3.1 billion of fibre exports

Victoria's top-earning agricultural exports are:

  • meat – $4.7 billion
  • animal fibre – $1.4 billion
  • dairy – $2.1 billion
  • grains – $1.1 billion
  • horticulture – $1.6 billion
  • wine – $380 million
  • prepared foods – $1.3 billion.

China, USA, Japan, New Zealand and Indonesia were the most valuable markets for Victorian food and fibre exports in 2019–20, accounting for 61 per cent of Victoria’s food and fibre exports.

Latest statistics

The following factsheet covers key aspects of Victorian agriculture: its contribution to the broader economy, exports, land and water use, production trends and productivity.

The Fast Facts supplement the Food and Fibre Economic Factsheet, providing more details on the recent performance of Victorian agricultural industries.

Beef industry fast facts

Dairy industry fast facts

Grains industry fast facts

Horticulture industry fast facts

Pig industry fast facts

Poultry industry fast facts

Sheep industry fast facts

Wine industry fast facts

Wool industry fast facts

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: 27 Apr 2022