Grow­com col­umn

Plan re­quires im­ple­men­ta­tion

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - News - DAVID THOM­SON Grow­com CEO

THE QUEENS­LAND Gov­ern­ment has an­nounced a new re­search de­vel­op­ment and ex­ten­sion (RD&E) ac­tion plan to help grow the agri­cul­ture and food sec­tor over the next 10 years.

The Agri­cul­ture and Food Re­search, De­vel­op­ment and Ex­ten­sion 10-Year Roadmap and Ac­tion Plan fo­cuses its ef­forts to at­tract in­vest­ment fund­ing and sup­port agri­cul­ture in­dus­tries to re­main a cor­ner­stone of Queens­land’s econ­omy.

Grow­com wel­comes sup­port from the State Gov­ern­ment to ad­dress cur­rent and up­com­ing chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties in the agri­cul­ture in­dus­try, in­clud­ing rapidly-evolv­ing tech­nol­ogy, emerg­ing Asian mar­kets, strength­ened biose­cu­rity, a vari­able cli­mate and chang­ing re­search.

The value of Queens­land’s agri­cul­ture sec­tor has risen to nearly $20 bil­lion fol­low­ing an an­nual av­er­age in­crease of 1.4 per cent in the last decade.

New op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­port to Asia have put Aus­tralian pro­duc­ers a ‘head above’ their com­peti­tors given their close prox­im­ity to in­ter­na­tional mar­kets and favourable rep­u­ta­tion.

As part of its Ac­tion Plan, the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment has out­lined in­tended ac­tions to boost in­no­va­tion and com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion, iden­tify agri­cul­ture and food RD&E op­por­tu­ni­ties, and sup­port the sec­tor to grow and de­velop new busi­nesses.

The plan has con­sid­ered chal­lenges in the in­dus­try such as ac­cess to RD&E fund­ing and in­vest­ment cap­i­tal, adopting re­search find­ings to in­crease sus­tain­able pro­duc­tiv­ity, biose­cu­rity threats, ca­pa­bil­ity and skills gaps, and cli­mate change.

Mean­while, Queens­land’s in­creased use of tech­nol­ogy, di­verse agro-cli­mate zones, and close­ness to ex­port mar­kets are strengths that put agri­cul­ture in a good po­si­tion to grow ex­po­nen­tially over the next decade.

Grow­com is pleased to wel­come a whole-ofgovern­ment ap­proach that not only aims to im­prove our in­dus­try’s com­mer­cial gain but also in­tends to strengthen biose­cu­rity pro­tec­tions and en­hance farm­ing prac­tices to achieve greater sus­tain­abil­ity.

The next step is to im­ple­ment these ac­tions to achieve mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial out­comes in con­tin­ued con­sul­ta­tion with fruit and veg­etable pro­duc­ers.

Grow­com en­cour­ages the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment to con­tinue to work closely with in­dus­try stake­hold­ers, the re­search sec­tor and other gov­ern­ment agen­cies to rep­re­sent Queens­land’s hor­ti­cul­ture sec­tor and its grow­ers through­out this process.

PHOTO: FILE

NEW PLAN: Grow­com wel­comes the new Queens­land Gov­ern­ment plan for the agri­cul­ture in­dus­try.

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