THIS YEAR'S evaluation of Hort Innovation’s research and development investments demonstrated an average benefit-cost ratio of 3.4 to 1* achieved across sample projects, projected to generate an estimated total net present value of some $40.5 million over 30 years.
Hort Innovation Head of Data and Insights Adam Briggs said “Half of the identified benefits of the projects were social impacts, such as increased skills among growers and researchers, cohesiveness within industries and value chains, and improved wellbeing in regional communities.
“41% of benefits were economic, such as reduced crop loss, increased market access and improved on-farm decision making and 9% of impacts were environmental benefits, such as increased adoption of best management practices and reduced waste disposal.”
Each year, Hort Innovation evaluates the impact of levy-funded R&D investments. In 2019/20 independent consultants from AgEconPlus and Agtrans looked at the type and magnitude of impacts across its levy-funded projects. A random sample of 15 investments, all completed in 2018/19, were selected to be representative of the overall R&D portfolio.
The randomly selected projects generated a range of economic, social and environmental impacts for horticultural growers, supply chain participants, and the wider community.
Adam Briggs said, “Total funding from all sources for the 15 investments equalled $11.79 million in present value dollars and will produce estimated total expected benefits of $40.50 million in present value dollars. This generates a benefit-cost ratio of 3.4 to 1 over 30 years.”
AgEconPlus Director Michael Clarke said, “The 2018/19 sample was considered representative of the investment in Hort Innovation’s overall research and development portfolio for the same period. Therefore, the impacts and aggregate investment criteria estimated are indicative of impacts and performance across the broader suite of research and development undertaken by Hort Innovation.”
To access the detailed evaluation report visit the Hort Innovation website.
Hort Innovation is hosting a webinar which will explain these impacts and benefits for growers in more detail, including a Q&A, on Thursday 10 December. Register via the Hort Innovation website.
*cost-benefit ratio = the ratio of the present value of investment benefits to the present value of investment costs