Food value surges as brand pays
THERE’S no greater supporter of Tasmanian farmers and rural communities than the State Government.
Agriculture is a key pillar of the Tasmanian economy, with the latest Agri-Food scorecard confirming 2017-2018 was an exceptional year, growing 9.1 per cent to an annual value of $1.6 billion.
Tasmania’s Agri-Food Scorecard 2017-2018 shows we have what the world wants and the Tasmanian brand is delivering real business outcomes, with record overseas food exports of $740 million.
The report shows we are on track to grow the value of Tasmania’s agriculture sector to $10 billion a year by 2050, driving investment in regional areas and creating local jobs.
The sector is benefiting from Tasmania’s continued GMO-free status, which provides access to premium markets across the globe.
Key contributors achieving strong export growth include: THE DAIRY industry set a milk volume production record and returned to being the highest value agricultural industry, worth $429 million at the farm gate.
BEEF was the second-highestvalue agricultural product, increasing to be worth $329 million at the farm gate, and hit a record export value of $210 million.
FRUIT production rose by
27.8 per cent, driven by increased berry and cherry production, and there was a substantial increase in the value of major vegetable crops such as potatoes and salad greens.
To ensure Tasmania’s agriculture sector continues to thrive, we recently launched our Sustainable Agri-Food Plan 2019-23, which is our blueprint for continued growth.
We are backing agriculture with $100 million in the 20192020 Budget to boost border biosecurity (including 20 new biosecurity jobs), research and innovation, farm productivity, new market development, reducing on-farm energy costs and the rollout of Tranche 3 irrigation schemes across the state.
The latest Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey shows farmer optimism has continued to grow – with the state’s rural sector reporting overall strong profit projections and robust investment plans for the year ahead.
We are mindful that Tasmania is a state of two halves.
While some areas have a promising season ahead, others are continuing to manage drought conditions, particularly on the East Coast.
We continue to work closely with farmers and rural communities and are providing $400,000 in practical drought support to complement the existing federal assistance programs.
We are also continuing to invest with farmers in developing secure water through irrigation.
The Hodgman majority Liberal Government is delivering our long-term plan, which is working. In contrast Labor has no plan. They stand for nothing and simply cannot be trusted.