Queensland agriculture underpins our economic recovery

Media Release

Queensland’s agribusiness and food sector is holding firm in the face of COVID-19 with new data showing the 2020-21 forecast value of primary industries commodities to be $18.4 billion, which is just one per cent lower than for 2019-20.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said this was remarkable after years of drought and sector wide disruption from the pandemic.

“The impact of the pandemic on Queensland’s primary industries is expected to be a decrease of $87 million at the farm gate in 2020-21,”Mr Furner said.

“But it could have been much worse and some sectors have actually thrived. In 2020-21, Queensland’s bulk commodities and exports of high value products are expected to continue, while nursery sales have surged due to strong interest in home gardening.

“However, horticulture and seafood producers have had to redirect produce, move into value added products, offer wage incentives such as bonuses and payments above the award rate, and adjust planting decisions.

Fruit and vegetables, cut flowers, forestry and fisheries will be the most affected, with a decrease of $179 million. More than half of this is expected to be offset by increased output in production nurseries.

“Looking ahead, forecast rainfall over the Queensland summer holds the promise of good news for the major cropping regions and grazing lands,” Mr Furner said.

“The Queensland Government will continue to work closely with industry to grow the sector as we unite and recover from the pandemic, harness new technology, provide more employment opportunities for more Queenslanders, while supporting regional development, health and wellbeing, and the environment.”