A roadmap to supercharging agribusiness
EXCLUSIVE: THE State Government has plans to supercharge job-creating agricultural industries on the back of a new report.
Growing Greater Whitsunday Agrifood stage one, Planting the Seed, brought together all of the aspects of the existing agricultural in the region and identified a range of opportunities that could grow the sector.
Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries minister Mark Furner said this was a chance for the Greater Whitsunday Alliance to engage with all levels of government and industry stakeholders to map out the next steps.
"This will include leveraging investment in regional branding and agri-tourism, developing export markets, infrastructure, and transport and logistics,” he said.
"Achieving success as envisaged by the report will require a high level of coordination and collaboration across the industry, however the benefits will be significant for everybody along the supply chain.”
The report sets out a roadmap for the region to take advantage of local agribusiness.
Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert said the region's current gross regional value of $1.39b could increase significantly if its full potential was released.
"The area has a lot of advantages being close to the rapidly-expanding Asian market, with a consistent climate, fertile soils and a well-established agricultural supply chain, all of which position it perfectly to ramp up production,” Mrs Gilbert said.
GW3 interim CEO Kylie Porter said the GGWA strategy highlights the opportunity to expand exports in aquaculture, horticulture and grains from the region.
"Underpinning this strategy is Greater Whitsunday Alliance's successful funding bid for $212,300 from the CRC Northern Australia,” she said.
"The CRCNA Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday Agribusiness Export Supply Chain Mapping Study will inform the delivery of the GGWA Strategy to develop regional Export Development Plans and promote a Regional Agrifood Export Readiness Program.
"GW3 with partners RDA, Bowen Gumlu Growers Association, North Queensland Bulk Ports and in-kind support from DAF will deliver this project later this year, aimed at identifying wider markets and export opportunities.”
Greater Whitsunday Food Network president Deb McLucas said the network was working to grow opportunities by building a strong regional brand, helping to create value-adding opportunities and new markets for farmers and supporting the adoption of sustainable farming practices.