MORE than 100,000 farmers have left the industry since 1981 even as agricultural exports increased by almost 300%.
Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed the industry was improving its productivity on average by 3% a year.
The National Farmers' Federation president Jock Laurie said the flexibility of Australian farmers helped ensure the sector become more efficient even as the number of farmers fell.
"Our industry has become more technologically-savvy, more innovative, more efficient and ultimately more productive at what we do: growing food and fibre," Mr Laurie said.
The industry had a positive outlook, he said, even as it faced a skilled labour shortage and an ageing workforce.
He said the career opportunities still available in agriculture were enormous, with work available for those who wanted it.
The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences predicted agricultural export revenue would hit $36 billion in this financial year, down slightly from the 2011-12 year, but still up on 2010-11.
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