Agri­cul­ture econ­omy grows

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFE -

QUEENS­LAND’S agri­cul­ture sec­tor is con­tin­u­ing to make a record con­tri­bu­tion to the state’s econ­omy.

Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture and Fish­eries Bill Byrne told State Par­lia­ment last week the lat­est AgTrends fore­cast for the value of pri­mary in­dus­try com­modi­ties for 2016-17 is on tar­get to grow by 6%.

“Pre­vi­ous AgTrends fore­casts have high­lighted im­pres­sive growth in the value of pro­duc­tion in Queens­land over the past two years – growth achieved dur­ing, and in spite of, a record drought,” Mr Byrne said.

“The to­tal gross value of pro­duc­tion, both at the farm gate and first stage pro­cess­ing, is on tar­get to grow by 6%.

“The to­tal value for 2016-17 is now fore­cast to be $18.55 bil­lion ... a full 15% greater than the past five-year av­er­age.”

Mr Byrne said he paid trib­ute to pro­duc­ers.

He said it was in­evitable that some sec­tors of the in­dus­try were do­ing bet­ter than oth­ers but it was great news that the food and fi­bre in­dus­try con­tin­ued to in­crease its con­tri­bu­tion to the state’s econ­omy.

“Queens­land agri­cul­ture as a whole is clearly in very fine fet­tle and the State Gov­ern­ment will con­tinue to sup­port our farm­ers to main­tain their in­valu­able con­tri­bu­tion to our econ­omy,” he said.

“The GVP for Queens­land man­darins is fore­cast to grow by 30% and macadamias by 17%.

“Queens­land pro­duc­ers have re­sponded to in­crease de­mand over­seas, driv­ing a 176% rise in ex­port val­ues in the year to Septem­ber – worth $649 mil­lion, up from $235 mil­lion just a year ago.”

PHOTO: ALIS­TAIR BRIGHTMAN

RECORD CON­TRI­BU­TION: New Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Bill Byrne.

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