Export opportunities and challenges facing agriculture are at the forefront today as farmers across the country mark the third nationwide celebration of Australia’s agriculture and related industries.
Nationals Senator for Victoria and Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie said while large parts of the country are doing it tough in the face of bushfires and an intensifying drought, agriculture continues to be a bulwark of the economy and a major contributor to the character of our nation, to the benefit of all Australians.
“AgDay is also about getting much-deserved recognition for our agriculture sector and related industries, such as transport and rural supplies businesses, stock and station agents and accountants,” she said.
“Agriculture is also the lifeblood of many rural and regional communities, with agriculture and affiliated industries providing jobs to about 329,000 Australians, while vaulting us into a position as one of the top 10 agricultural exporting countries in the world.
“We ship about two-thirds of our agricultural production to the world every year, with efficiency second to none. We want to keep harnessing the many opportunities before us for growth in food and fibre exports to our region and the world, as well as here at home.
“While we don’t underestimate challenges, booming populations and dynamic markets to our north and elsewhere underline that our best days for farmers and agricultural producers are ahead.
“This year we are working to progress the National Farmers’ Federation’s vision to build an agriculture industry worth $100 billion over the next decade, propelled by Pacific-spanning trade deals our government has signed up including with major Asian neighbours, while working hard to secure more opportunities in Europe and elsewhere.
“We are doing that while dealing with the challenges of drought and offering more help to farmers and agriculture dependent communities, while also strengthening our country’s readiness to meet biosecurity threats with increased border protections.
“In three short years AgDay has become a fixture in calendars across the country. It’s a day where we can be proud of the contribution our farmers and their communities make to providing safe, nutritious and delicious food to Australians and to millions of others across the globe.”