Challenges facing Australian Merino Sheep Farming
Australia prides itself as a home for 70 million merino sheep and over a century, Australia has dominated wool production industry across the globe and constitutes the country’s largest source of revenue(Bowerman 85). However, over the last five years merino sheep farming industry in Australia has recorded continued losses. Volatility in the industry, fluctuations in the market price, unpredictable rain patterns, and limited market opportunities have been cited as plausible reasons behind the losses being incurred. Additionally, the distraught industry has attributed its present woes to the small scale farming. Most operators in the industry are small or medium-sized sheep farmers.
The majority of industry operators, 60%, are small and medium-sized family businesses who rely on owner-operators and the family members as a source of labor. Notably, this study is ingrained in the challenges facing merino sheep farming in Australia. Additionally, examining the magnitude of the problem and giving recommendation on how to address the challenges in order to restore the profitable lost glory of the merino sheep farming in Australia will cover the scope of this study.
2. Aims and Background
The study aims at giving the challenges facing merino sheep farming in Australia an in-depth analysis, the plausible causes, and recommending approaches to salvage this sheep industry that is operating in losses for the past five years. In order to address the challenges facing merino sheep farming in Australia and realize the forecast annual growth of 1.5% in the sheep industry over the next five years, George portends that there is need for improved pasture feed, reduced cost of merino sheep keeping through government subsidies, engaging commercialized farming, and market expansion through access of far-flung market opportunities.
The introduction of government tax, subsidies, and trade restraints has been cited to having an impact on the demand and supply of wool in the Australian market. When the government introduces tax, the industry records a reduction in the supply of wool to the market. On the hand other, when the government introduces subsidies, more wool is supplied to the market (Piros 12).
Free trade should be advocated for. Classical economists argue that free trade fosters a global level of wooloutput because of the free trade permits that specialize among wool producing countries. Specialization gives room for a country to direct its scarce resources in the production of wool with other countries based comparative advantage (Martin 40). Open market policies should be left to flourish because they enhance flexibility and competitiveness in the market.
In addition, embracing free trade will enable local production of wool in the Australian market record an increase in the domestic consumption offrom 12 metric tonnes to 16 metric tonnes. The benefits associated with specialization, free trade fosters economies of scale, and further enhances global woolproduction possibility (Landau 67).
3. Research Questions
In order to carry out an in-depth study on the challenges facing sheep farming in Australia,the following research questions will guide the researcher:
- What are the challenges facing merino sheep farming in Australia?
- What is the relationship between embracing technology and profitability inmerino sheep farming in Australia?
- What are the remedies to addresschallenges facing merino sheep farming in Australia?
4. Research Methodology
The sample for this study will involve 320 respondents. In order to choose respondents, random sampling will be done.The researcher will interview and administer questionnaires to 320 merino sheep farmers in Australia seeking to determine challenges facing merino sheep farming in Australia as a source of data.
A research design is an arrangement of conditions necessary for data collection and analysis in a manner that endeavors to combine the relevance of the study purpose and economy of the procedure (Landau 73). The researcher will utilize a descriptive design that involves collecting research information using interviews and questionnaires. Thus, the choice of this study design is appropriate for the carrying out an in-depth analysis on the challenges facing merino sheep farming in Australia.
The researcher will employ questionnaires and interviews as data collection criteria. Additionally, the anonymity will enable participants elicit candid responses.Further, the researcher conduct validity test before using them for data collection. Additionally, peer review will be done before embarking on the main study.Importantly, the researcher will embrace reliable instruments by conducting a pilot study. Further, calculating the Cronbach coefficientwill be aimed at assisting the researcher embrace reliable research tools.In order to answer the research questions, the researcher will conduct hypothesis testing:
There is no relationship between embracing technology and profitabilityinmerino sheep farming in Australia (Null hypothesis)
There is a relationship between embracing technology and profitabilityinmerino sheep farming in Australia (Alternative hypothesis)
Further, t-test will be conducted to determine the difference in effectiveness of the remedies to address challenges facing sheep farming in Australia.
The findings of this study will be beneficial to both small and medium-sized merino sheep farmers who rely on owner-operators and family members as a source of labor. Getting an insight on how to embrace technology, commercialized farming, and expanding their market through accessingfar-flung market opportunities will be a great milestone to these category of farmers.
Bowerman. Important Determinants of Consumer Behavior.Journal on strategic business Approaches, 234, 67(1). 2013. Print.
George. Protective or free trading; An examination of the tariff question, with especial regard to the interests of labor. New York: H. George. 2011. Print.
Landau, Shefler. Research ethics. Jerusalem: Hebrew University Magnes Press.2012. Print.
Martin.If we don’t, Australia will be left behind. Retrieved August 6, 2016, from http://www.afr.com/search.html?text=factors+affecting+demand+and+supply+of+resources+in+Australia&ss=afr.com.au.
Piros. Investment decision making in Local and international economics. Journal on productive farming, 456, 56 (2).2012. Print.
Slade. Case-based reasoning: A research paradigm. The New Havens, CT: Yale University, Dept. of Computer Science.2011. Print.
Burns, Burns.Business research methods and statistics using SPSS. Los Angeles: SAGE.2012. Print.
Decker. Economic Ties.Retrieved August 6, 2016, from http://www.afr.com/search.html?text=factors+affecting+demand+and+supply+of+resources+in+Australia&ss=afr.com.au.
To obtain the sample size, you take 30% of the total wool farmers in a given region. Thus,for us to get 320 respondents; take the selected region to have 1,070 wool farmers.
This study is premised on wool farming in Australia. Though other scholars have done research on wool farming in Australia; none has investigated challenges specifically facing Merino sheep. Thus, this study is original.
33 is the page number. However, as observed the page number might have been captured wrongly. To avoid confusion, the section has been removed in this revision.
55 is the page number.