Today Australia celebrates the first ever National Agriculture and Related Industries Day, a day to celebrate our agricultural industries and acknowledge what is a powerhouse of the Australian economy.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, today recognised the importance of the day at a gala dinner at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
“As a proud Territorian who has worked across a number of industries, including fisheries, I know just how important agriculture as well as the entire food and fibre supply chain are to our nation’s prosperity,” Minister Scullion said.
“Farmers feed and clothe people—one of the most honourable and noble of human endeavours—and Australia’s farmers are world-class.
“Agriculture is a powerhouse of the Australian economy, with the total value of farm, fisheries and forestry production coming in at $69.1 billion in 2016–17.
“Australia is a trading nation and agriculture’s role internationally is growing, on the back of free trade agreements and new and improved trade and market access.
“The Coalition Government has worked to create an environment for our farming, fishing and forestry industries to succeed, opening up premium overseas markets to ensure a premium return back through the farm gate.
“Australia’s agriculture, food, fishery and forestry exports have risen from $41.5 billion in 2012–13 to $53.6 billion.
“Agriculture supports many rural and regional communities, providing the jobs and cash flow for small businesses that keep our country towns ticking.
“But agriculture contributes to the prosperity of not just rural and regional Australia but of all Australians.
“Today we recognise this, along with its links to industries as diverse as transport, rural supplies, finance, health, science, research, education and training, textiles and fashion and food manufacturing just to name a few.
“I would like to thank the National Farmers’ Federation for helping establish National Agriculture and Related Industries Day and encouraging people to get involved, including providing classroom materials to enable lessons in our world class agricultural industries, a photo competition and local events all across Australia.
“I also would like to thank Ms Gina Rinehart and the staff at Hancock Prospecting for driving this initiative, and all the foundation partners that came on board to make this important day possible.
“Finally I also acknowledge Barnaby Joyce’s strong advocacy and unrivalled leadership on behalf of all Australian agricultural producers as Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources.
“The Australian Parliament has in fact never had a bigger believer or champion for our agricultural industries than Barnaby Joyce.
“I am so pleased to see this day—a day that Barnaby himself launched in September—become a reality,” Minister Scullion said today.
For more information about National Agriculture and Related Industries Day visit www.agday.org.au.