Hor­ti­cul­ture has po­ten­tial to grow

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

QUEENS­LAND’S sec­ond largest agri­cul­tural in­dus­try has enor­mous po­ten­tial to grow, with the $1.9 bil­lion hor­ti­cul­ture in­dus­try is only us­ing un­der 0.1 per cent of the land area.

Grow­com said a land au­dit showed 7.5 per cent of the state’s land area is clas­si­fied suit­able for peren­nial hor­ti­cul­ture, such as tree crops and al­most 13 per cent suit­able for an­nual hor­ti­cul­ture such as veg­eta­bles.

The in­dus­try is cur­rently re­cov­er­ing from the ex- cy­clones that passed through, es­ca­lat­ing costs of wa­ter and elec­tric­ity, the high Aus­tralian dol­lar, the ef­fects of supermarkets and reg­u­la­tory obli­ga­tions.

The re­port sug­gests in­vest­ment in Queens­land’s hor­ti­cul­tural in­dus­try could be the eas­i­est, most ef­fi­cient and less en­vi­ron­men­tally dam­ag­ing way to boost food pro­duc­tion in line with the Queens­land Govern­ment’s goal to dou­ble the value of pro­duc­tion by 2040.

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