The Australian agricultural sector is poised to smash production value records this year, with our pandemic-defying farmers propelling the sector to $73 billion.

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said the ABARES’s Agricultural Commodities: September Quarter report shows that farming has grown by 1.3 per cent in the last quarter.

“That may not sound like much, but we are dealing in unprecedented economic times, and plenty of industries in Australia haven’t been lucky enough to see that kind of growth,” Minister Littleproud said.

“This is a year to be proud of. It shows just how strong the agriculture sector is, despite the uncertainty of a global pandemic.

“We’re looking at our second good year in a row, with a bumper crop harvest, international demand for our produce and a strong market for livestock.”

Member for Barker Tony Pasin said two good years in a row had lifted optimism in regional Australia.

“During the pandemic our farmers have been quietly going on about their business producing the best food and fibre in the World.”

“We’ve got all our ducks in a row for a record year. Not only are we looking at a bumper harvest for winter crop, but there are also higher prices and greater demand for oilseeds and grains,” said Mr Pasin.

“We are also seeing real confidence in the meat sector with herd rebuilding and re-stocking gathering pace, as well as seeing string export demand for wool and dairy.”

“Farmgate value of horticultural production is forecast to reach a record $12.4 billion in 2021–22, which prices of fruit and vegetables to remain high in 2021–22 due to labour shortages and elevated household demand.”

“It’s not all smooth sailing. COVID-19 continues to provide challenges for international trade, although we are working as a government to do what we gain to boost international trade.”

“We have listened to concerns about labour shortages and we are progressing the Agricultural Visa to make sure that we can get the fruit picked and the veggies out of the ground.”

“Australians backed our farmers during the tough years of drought we are now seeing those very farmers help the Australian community and Australian economy through and beyond the pandemic.” Mr Pasin said.