Enhancing Food and Fibre Productivity

Tabled: 17 August 2016

Measuring the impacts of the Department of Economic Development Jobs Transport & Resources’ (the department) research, development and extension (RD&E) investments is an inherently complex task. However, there is evidence that the state’s investment in RD&E contributes to productivity growth in Victoria’s priority agriculture industries.

Many aspects of the department’s approach to agricultural RD&E reflect good practice. It has a robust investment framework and a strong commitment to RD&E collaboration nationally. It has also carried out many evaluations of its RD&E activities.

However, the application of the department’s RD&E frameworks has some gaps. These have limited its ability to show the basis for investment decisions and to demonstrate their impact, and to show how it has acted on the results of past RD&E programs.

The capacity for RD&E to drive future productivity growth and to achieve long-term goals is challenged by a range of factors, including a lack of industry investment in key areas and constrained government resourcing. Future performance also depends on RD&E activities leading to change in practices and farmers adopting new technologies. Although many evaluations show where the department’s R&D results have been effectively disseminated to end users and other stakeholders, it has not followed through on plans to assess the overall effectiveness of its approaches to delivering services and changing practices.


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Audit team

Andrew Evans

Engagement Leader

Chris Badelow

Team Leader

Catherine Sandercock

Engagement Quality Control Reviewer

Michael Herbert



Last updated on 31/08/2016