According to esteemed Wall Street Journal writer Isabella Steger in her article “Australia Pledges Support for Drought-Hit Farmers”, the Australian government has pledged to give financial support to drought-stricken farmers, many of whom are still reeling from the effects of an eight-year-long dry spell that ended in 2009. Many believe that farming is a dead practice in today’s society, where the processes of cloning and general “creation” of many different types of foods have vastly expanded, making the stereotypical image of a farmer picking crops in a field basically obsolete. However, this is not the case at all. Farming is a major business both in the United States and across the world. For example, in 2009, Australian farms produced 93% of the total volume of food consumed in Australia, and 60% of the produce farmed in Australia was exported, helping feed some 40 million people outside Australia each day. Also, it is estimated that the country's agricultural sector contributes to about 12% of Australia's Gross Domestic Product.
However, severe droughts have impacted Australia and its overall crop output throughout the 2000’s, and even after $4.5 billion in aid was given by the Australian government to Australian farmers and the agricultural industry in total from 2001 to 2009, this trend seems to be continuing. The droughts of the early 2000’s still impact the farming landscape to this day, thus the Australian government has pledged to give financial support to drought-stricken farmers. With the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences warning that the summer crop in Australia could fall by 25% this summer, the Australian government, along with Prime Minister Tony Abbott, decided to announce another drought relief package, this time for $320 million, being distributed mostly as loans to farmers to aid in the growth and well-being of their farms with the rest of the money going towards emergency water infrastructure schemes, pest management and social and mental-health services to help farmers cope with the effects of the drought.