Thursday, 8 September 2022
New data from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences shows that Australia is on track to hit a new record for agricultural exports. The value of our exports is forecast to hit a record $70.3 billion in 2022-23, driven by a favourable growing-condition year and international demand.
Like the remainder of the nation, our agricultural sector on the north-west coast of Tasmania has had a good year. It's been a good growing season. We have had good rain and temperatures are starting to rise. Favourable international commodity prices have allowed farmers to build and to reinvest back into their business model and their enterprises. Our farmers are at the cutting edge when it comes to the application of science and technology and the application of world's best agricultural practice. The introduction of this technology into the agricultural sector in Tasmania is second to none. With the current challenges around the dramatic rise in the cost of, particularly, diesel fuel, labour and fertilizer and agricultural chemicals, our farmers need to be smarter, more than ever before, if they are to grow their business to a viable future. Our farmers lead the way, not just in the state, but nationally, and they are increasingly internationally renowned for producing some of the best produce anywhere in the world.
It's spring, and that means it's time for farmers and agribusiness to show off everything that is great about living on the land and the agricultural sector. The agricultural show and field day season kicked off a few weeks ago with Rural Youth's four-day Agfest in Tasmania. For those who didn't get a chance to go to Tasmania and experience Australia's top agricultural field day, let me tell you, it was a cracker, with more than 50,000 visitors to the site. After a couple of years of challenges, the crowds were back in droves, and the city and the bush were brought together to celebrate and appreciate everything that our farmers do. They get an understanding of the contribution farmers make to their lives and to making it better every day. Over the coming months it will be great to see more agricultural shows, like Burnie show, the Circular Head show, the King Island show and the Wynyard show, back in action.
I want to close with a shout-out to our great volunteers, who work tirelessly in order to bring these agricultural shows to our communities. It wouldn't have been an easy few years. You could have thrown the towel in quite easily over the last couple of years, particularly as COVID implications pinched on your great shows. But you did whatever every good farmer does. When confronted with a problem, you just ploughed around it and kept going. Your resilience is second to none, and I can't wait to catch up with you all at the upcoming ag show season as we showcase the bright future of our agricultural industry.