Agriculture seems to have bounced back despite drought

THE Qld Government is claiming a comeback for the agricultural sector since they've been in power.

Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Leanne Donaldson says the sector has thrived over the last year despite the drought plaguing the state. 

"The total value of Queensland's primary industry commodities for 2015-16 is forecast to be $16.88 billion - a 12% increase on the estimate for the previous financial year," Minister Donaldson said.

"The beef industry has been a remarkable success story. The Gross Value Production (GVP) of the cattle and calves sector is now expected to increase in 2015-16 by 31%, to $4.3 billion.

"I recognise that the drought and de-stocking has played a significant part in increasing supply, but strong demand is also a major factor. There is continuing confidence in the future of Queensland's beef sector.

"In December the Central Highlands Regional Council announced a partnership with a consortium of investors to build a new meatworks near Emerald.

"It is one of a number of proposed new meatworks for the state and is predicted to create 200 full-time jobs and add $24 million a year to the local economy.

"Queensland's food exporters are also enjoying a boom as there is record demand for our products from China and Indonesia as well as heavy demand from traditional markets such as the United States, Japan and South Korea.

"I am also very encouraged by the growth in forestry, a sector now expected to add 13% in the financial year to $211 million.

"And it is wonderful to be able to report that after a year when the government and the industry has been working collaboratively to tackle the threat of Panama Disease to our valuable banana crops, the sector is now predicting 9% growth in the current financial year to $584 million."

Minister Donaldson said that while the GVP for the grains sector was forecast to decline by 12% it would still be worth $903 million, achieved when more than 86% of the state was drought-declared.

The GVP for Queensland's fisheries is predicted to dip by 1% to $368 million.

"Overall the figures are promising and the future for Queensland agriculture is extremely bright."

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