By CAITLIN CROWLEY
TOOWOOMBA officially has Queensland’s largest agricultural economy with the latest AgTrend data released today revealing a Gross Value Production (GVP) of almost $1.36 billion this financial year.
The Western Downs was the only other billion-dollar valuation, with the second highest GVP at $1.11 billion.
The Toowoomba local government area was also in the top ten for growth, with a GVP increase of almost 5.8% on 2021-22.
The overall valuation of Queensland’s agriculture and fisheries sector was a record breaking $23.44 billion with that figure forecast to increase to $23.67 billion in the 2023-24 financial year.
State agriculture minister Mark Furner (pictured above) said it was no surprise Queensland’s world-class produce was breaking records.
“Despite challenges presented by COVID and floods, our agribusinesses continue to go from strength to strength,” Furner said.
“We’re continuing to create jobs and back primary producers with sound investments through our Rural Economic Development (RED) Grants, which have supported about 2,500 jobs and provided about $12 million to our primary producers.”
The fastest growing region was the Lockyer Valley, with the value of its ag sector skyrocketing almost 42% to $483 million on the back of a strong recovery from the 2022 floods.
Local grower and Qualipac director Troy Qualischefski said the last twelve months of farming had its challenges but they were seeing wonderful growth in the industry.
“The Palaszczuk Government has been very pro-agriculture,” he said.
“We’ve seen investments through the RED Grants, and through the Smart Farming at the Gatton Research Centre.
“The thing I enjoy the most is to see some of our export customers come back that we had lost during the COVID years, so that gives us confidence to keep investing in the industry and keep employing people.”
Cattle and calves topped the GVP by commodities list valued at just over $6 billion, followed by meat processing ($2.79 billion), sugarcane ($1.55 billion) and raw cotton ($1.5 billion).
Some lesser known Queensland crops had the strongest growth in value this financial year, with apples surging a whopping 55% to $93 million, mungbeans increasing by almost 47% to $162 million and table grapes valued at $90 million, up around 34% on the previous financial year.
|Top 10 – GVP by region|
|Western Downs||$1.11 billion|
|Central Highlands||$831 million|
|Cassowary Coast||$659 million|