Precision farming

Creating more productive and sustainable farms


Food is one of the world’s most critical resources but as the weather gets more unpredictable and the global population continues to grow, food production and food security have never been more important. As one of the largest agriculture investment managers in the world, we are working with farmers to adapt and implement sustainable farming practices.

Swipe for more


Sector Real Estate
Sub-sector Infrastructure
Invested 2011

Location: Australia

The challenge

With rapid population growth and increasing demand for better standards of living, the pressure on natural resources around the world has increased exponentially.

For the agricultural sector, this means improving the productivity of every hectare of land and protecting the ecosystems and natural resources of which farmers have been stewards for generations. There is pressure to produce more with less, while maintaining high standards of quality and safety.

To address this challenging context, farmers around the world have adopted parallel but complementary strategies. On the one hand, adopting natural climate solutions, such as reforestation, cover crops and wetlands restoration; and on the other, deploying increasingly sophisticated technology and data. For example, using analytics to improve yield and productivity, or satellite technology to maximise the precision and efficiency of inputs such as fertiliser. Piloting and implementing on-farm technology has also become an important driver of change in farming.

Our engagement

MAM’s support for a net zero carbon future, captured in our own commitment, has set the scene for net zero efforts across our agriculture portfolio in Australia and Brazil. This has helped frame the approach to sustainability, as well as develop key performance indicators to measure progress.

Our asset managers develop plans for deploying resources and engaging with local communities, while promoting safety and good labour conditions for staff. Most of those involved live in the farming communities, reinforcing their ties to the local community.

We are encouraging the adoption of performance targets and promote regular reporting, which is then consolidated in an annual agriculture sustainability report.

More resilient farmland

“The creation of resilient farmland portfolios that can adapt to changing climate conditions and improve the natural resource base is core to what we do. The investment in technology and efficient infrastructure will drive productivity and lower GHG emissions, creating value for our investors and the communities in which we operate."

Elizabeth O’Leary, Head of Agriculture

For more information about our agriculture capabilities, please contact us.


We have delivered improved asset performance against key metrics. For example, we measure soil pH over a number of years and set target ranges for this. The data shows significant improvements, an important indicator of overall soil health. Other indicators track progress on water use, the extent of conservation areas, and people-focused metrics such as training hours.

There is also evidence of financial benefit. The more that sustainable initiatives are pursued, the better the financial returns. Outputs are weather dependent, so there is no guarantee of continuous improvement every year, so we look at long-term results to examine trends.

More sustainable practices are also driving improvements in the livelihoods of local communities and there is growing pride in adopting methods that demonstrate stewardship of the natural environment.


4.7m ha

of farmland under management across Australia and Brazil

Key learnings

Systematic reporting is an important driver of good practice and a way of sharing awareness of the issues. In some cases, this involves reporting on actions that farmers have been carrying out for years, but in others it requires new ways of thinking about a familiar challenge.

We started reporting against the UN SDGs in 2018. Many of the impacts and benefits of farming are multi-faceted and relate to several of the SDGs, so taking an integrated approach is important. Using the SDGs as a reporting framework resonates with our investors around the world and provides a common language that enables users to focus their efforts.

Our approach to sustainability

This case study first appeared in our 2020 Sustainability Report.

Our insights

Our impact across the globe

For more information about our agriculture capabilities.



Real Estate


Insurance Services

Private Credit



Real Estate


Insurance Services

Private Credit

All information current as at 30 September 2020, unless otherwise stated.