Agriculture Minister Mark Furner

December 21, 2020

Queensland’s agribusiness and food sector is holding firm in the face of COVID-19, according to the State Government, with new data showing the 2020-21 forecast value of primary industries commodities to be $18.4 billion.

This is just 1 per cent lower than for 2019-20 but is 4 per cent less than the average for the past five years.

And for the fourth consecutive year, the forecast total value has decreased from the previous year, after one of the worst droughts in more than 100 years.

“The impact of the pandemic on Queensland’s primary industries is expected to be a decrease of $87 million at the farm gate in 2020-21,” Mr Furner said.

“But it could have been much worse and some sectors have actually thrived.

“In 2020-21, Queensland’s bulk commodities and exports of high value products are expected to continue, while nursery sales have surged due to strong interest in home gardening.

“However, horticulture and seafood producers have had to redirect produce, move into value-added products, offer wage incentives such as bonuses and payments above the award rate, and adjust planting decisions.”

Fruit and vegetables, cut flowers, forestry and fisheries will be the most affected, with a decrease of $179 million.

“Looking ahead, forecast rainfall over the Queensland summer holds the promise of good news for the major cropping regions and grazing lands,” Mr Furner said.

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