Labour challenges and a lack of incentives for young people to stay in regional areas have been identified as key challenges for the state's farming sector by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture.
The institute has released its TasAgFuture report based on a project which involved 100 in-person interviews, 630 survey responses, and studied 10 different agricultural sectors.
The most important long-term goal for farmers was to create high-quality produce with a draw down of debt and income increases ranking third and fourth as priorities.
The Tasmanian brand, market opportunities, and technology were the most recurrent topics raised in interviews followed by water and climate change.
Participants highlighted innovations as a method of achieving goals with commodity producers using technology to make their processes more efficient and niche businesses looking to improve quality and brand communication.
Positivity among farmers was highest for market opportunities while the cost of production, regulations, and climate change ranked highest as areas of concern.
The report concluded three major challenges faced the state's agricultural sector: regional decline, labour challenges, and community perception of the sector.
A lack of incentives for young people to remain living in regional areas and poor integration across government policies and ministerial portfolios for regional development was identified as an issue during work on the project.
It was noted by farmers it was difficult to recruit staff with the right skills and attitude for the work required and that some employers lacked leadership and management skills.
Limited access to education and training was seen as a problem.
It was suggested that consumers did not fully understand what was involved in food production.
Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture director Professor Holger Meinke said research and education would be key elements in the institute's response strategy following the report.
"A key message of the report is that industry, government, regional communities, consumers and researchers need to work in partnership to convert opportunities into impact, and to address some of the complex challenges we face," he said.
The report recommended long-term programs for regional and sector development be undertaken by industry, educational institutions, regional development bodies and the government.
In the area of skills development, it proposed industry-focused training scholarships and short courses with a focus on technology be used as well as more leadership development for managers.
The report recommended more up-to-date analysis of the food production sector to better inform government policies.