Plan comes together to boost agriculture
AGRICULTURE is a sexy industry but one that faces a number of challenges, according to State Minister for Agriculture, Food and Regional Queensland Tim Mulherin.
Responsible for 80% of the nation’s total food exports, agriculture is being promoted as “an industry of choice” through the successful Reconnecting Agricultural Education plan launched last year.
“With the drought and summer of natural disasters, we’ve had a situation where young children and students don’t see agriculture as a career and that’s been reflected in the declining enrolments,” Mr Mulherin said in Emerald on Tuesday. “What we’ve got to do is promote agriculture as an industry of choice.
“What we’ve done is... create career pathways for students.”
Mr Mulherin said the disinvestment of some of the Australian Agricultural College Corporation’s holdings had given the State Government the opportunity for investment in its development.
He said the 500 student enrolment increase to more than 5000 students proved the success of the ambitious plan.
“We’ve got well over 500 students enrolled across the AACC and that’s up 500 from last year and after the drought and summer of natural disasters,” he said. “That indicates there’s been renewed interest in the industry because it’s a sexy industry.
“We made a commitment to 100% reinvestment into AACC from monies raised through any property sales and we are seeing that happen with funding earmarked across AACC.
“As a result of reform, both Emerald and Longreach will benefit from $2 million upgrades to infrastructure and teaching, accommodation and production facilities.”