Agricultural Policy Reform and Industry Adjustment in Australia and New Zealand

Some sectors of Australian and New Zealand farming have been heavily assisted in the past. New Zealand underwent an economy-wide deregulation in the mid-to-late 980s that included abrupt removal of practically all agricultural assistance. Policy reform in Australia has been more gradual and is industry focused, but in some cases substantial industry assistance has been withdrawn. Deregulation of the Australian dairy industry, and that of the sheep and beef sector in New Zealand, are discussed as case studies of these deregulations. Conclusions are drawn from these experiences, a major one being that previously-assisted farmers can successfully make the transition to market-driven agriculture.

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