CHRONICLE COLUMN | 16 NOVEMBER 2021

This Friday is National Agriculture Day.

 

A day to celebrate the extraordinary efforts of the agriculture industry and their contribution to the nation.

 

The website agday.org.au identifies some key digestible facts as follows:

·         Australian farmers invest $3.3 billion a year in research and development;

·         more than 99% of Australia’s agriculture businesses are wholly Australian owned;

·         319 thousand people are employed in agriculture accounting for about 2.5% of the national workforce; and

·         Australian farmers have decreased their greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 63% from 1996 to 2013.

  

In our region, according to id economics and the Australian government, the local agriculture sector:

·         contributes in excess of 275 million yearly to the economy;

·         employs more than 89,000 people which fifth biggest employer in the region which represents 6.4% of the region’s workforce; and

·         when combined with forestry and fishing, they have the largest number of total registered business in Toowoomba comprising of 20.8% of all total registered businesses compared to 8.8% in Queensland.

 

Their contribution is more than just, significant.  Supporting them is essential to the health and well being of our city and our region.  Why?  If for no other reason, they feed us, our state, and our nation.  For example, the Australian Government identifies the two most prolific types of farms in our region are beef and vegetables.  But let’s not forget, the many other agriculture products we produce – fruit, poultry, fish, herbs, olives, honey, and nuts just to name a few.  And then there is the local products we produce using locally grown produced like preserves, oils, chocolate, beer, gin, wine, and the list goes on and on.

 

At the Toowoomba Chamber, we know, our region, is the critical food bowl for not just for us, the state, and the nation, but globally by exporting our quality products like those produced by the Hampton Irrigators, from Wellcamp Airport to the World. 

 

Therefore, we need to stop on Friday and applaud the great work of our agriculture sector and remind government to remove unnecessary barriers, further incentivise innovation and build infrastructure to ensure they sustain us for generations to come.

 

To honour their hard work, this Friday, the Toowoomba Chamber in partnership with our Food and Agri Network (FAN) and Smart Berries are leading our own berry exclusive FAN Picking Day.  This is your chance to experience life on one of Australia’s premier berry farms. Whilst farm side, Smart Berries will talk about how the current challenges in our farming sector and its impact on you. Be quick, tickets are limited.

 

If you’re interested in participating, email admin@toowoombachamber.com.au

 

A healthy agriculture sector flows onto our other businesses, creating a healthy city and region.  So, let’s all give them a shout out on Friday and support them where we can for the other 364 days of each year, every year.

 

Todd Rohl, Chief Executive Officer