The release of Queensland’s Agriculture Strategy marked a major milestone in the Newman Government’s plans to revitalise and expand the industry, Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister John McVeigh said today.
The strategy to double Queensland’s agriculture, including food production, by 2040 was released at FarmFest in Toowoomba this morning.
“While many talk about opportunities, Queensland is taking action,” Mr McVeigh said.
“We’re determined to become a major, high-quality food producer of choice for Asia’s growing middle classes. This strategy will help deliver the goods.”
Mr McVeigh thanked industry leaders for supporting the government’s plans, saying farm industries made a huge contribution to Queensland and were integral to the State’s long-term prosperity.
“The government’s 2040 vision for agriculture is for an efficient, innovative, resilient, and profitable sector,” he said.
He said by releasing Queensland’s agriculture strategy, he was outlining a vision and framework for growth based on four key pathways:
- Securing and increasing resource availability;
- Driving productivity growth across the supply chain;
- Securing and increasing market access; and
- Minimising production costs
Mr McVeigh said the strategy outlined 60 initiatives across government, 31 of which his department would lead, including:
- Continuing to strengthen biosecurity systems to make Queensland the best prepared state to prevent and combat foot and mouth disease;
- Workforce Development Plans to improve agricultural skills and career pathways;
- Industry Actions Plans to address the pathways to growth in key industries; and
- Implementing the Agricultural Research, Development and Extension Plan focusing on beef, horticulture, sugar and broadacre cropping to support worldleading sub-tropical and tropical agriculture.
“I’ll work closely with industry and government to identify strategic steps to drive productivity, improve resilience and increase profitability for farmers,” he said.
“This will ensure the sector’s needs are considered in future policy and investment decisions, including The Queensland Plan – a 30-year vision for this State.”
Mr McVeigh said with an increasing global population and expanding middle-class in Asia, the coming decade represented an unprecedented opportunity for growth.
“With a reputation for safe, clean, quality produce, Queensland is ideally positioned to take full advantage of this opportunity,” he said.
“The growth of our sector will be driven by both increases in volume and value, depending on the industry.”
Mr McVeigh said action must be taken to help industry become more resilient as it faced significant challenges, not least being the high Australian dollar, and declining terms of trade.
“Our producers are also dealing with rising production costs, waning productivity, competition for natural resources, biosecurity risks, and climate variability.
“We understand the significance of these challenges, and the Newman Government will stand alongside industry to ensure we embrace every opportunity that presents itself.”