Agricultural exports to hit $65b

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Murray Watt.

Agricultural exports are predicted to hit a record $65 billion in 2022-23, the new Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Murray Watt, recently announced.

“I’m pleased to report that the latest agricultural commodities report by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences predicts record exports worth $65 billion in 2022-23 and a second consecutive year of more than $80 billion in production,” Minister Watt said.

“We are expecting our forestry and fishing sectors also to perform well, with the total value of the four industries forecast to be $86.2 billion – just below the record result for 2021-22.

“But rising costs and access to farm labour and imported machinery will continue to challenge many Australian farm businesses. We understand this and that’s why I’ve identified these issues as key priorities for me, as the new Minister.”

In June, Minister Watt told farmers and industry representatives the government was focused on helping them overcome mounting input and supply chain challenges, while also positioning the sector to seize the “massive opportunities arising from increased efforts to tackle climate change”.

“The government will strengthen the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme to help overcome labour shortages, but there is also much more we can do to attract Australian workers to regional areas and retain them. I’ll be working closely with my Cabinet colleagues to ensure that regions benefit from the new government’s increased emphasis on training up local workers.”

Tackling biosecurity threats and ensuring farmers derive more value from their renowned produce were also priorities for Minister Watt.

“As well as protecting the industry, we want to help farmers derive more value from their produce through value-adding and innovation. We want Australia to not only grow the wheat but also make the flour, biscuits and cakes, and process and package meat for domestic and international markets.

“That’s why we will invest $500 million through our National Reconstruction Fund to encourage farmers to create more food products in Australia, in addition to selling raw commodities overseas.

“Australian agriculture is on track for another record-breaking year, and the new government will be doing everything we can to support it with continued innovation, value adding and increased decarbonisation efforts.”