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 will focus 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 past 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-of-government 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.