Agriculture reaps thousands of jobs

SUGAR cane, avocados and chickpeas are all helping drive a jobs growth, the Queensland Government said.

Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector had created 10,500 new jobs between June 2017 and June 2018.

"The latest Labour Force Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows primary production in Queensland continues to do much more than put food on our plates," Mr Furner said.

"The new high growth crop for Queensland's farms is jobs and that's because our producers and food sector businesses are working hard to take advantage of new opportunities."

Mr Furner said Queensland produce had a growing reputation in overseas markets.

"The Palaszczuk Government has invested tens of millions of dollars to ensure the produce we send overseas is not only of the highest quality but is also tailored to specific regional tastes, whether that be in markets in Japan or supermarket shelves in Indonesia," he said.

"We have also continued to support the Queensland Agriculture Workers Network (QAWN) and Rural Jobs and Skills Alliance to support and facilitate employment opportunities for people in rural and regional parts of the state.

"In this year's budget more than $3 million was allocated to these programs to continue the good work being done in this area."

Carl Walker, president of Bowen Gumlu Growers Association and owner of Phantom Produce, said QAWN played an important role in helping North Queensland producers to expand their workforces.

"The Queensland Agriculture Workforce Network has assisted growers in the North Queensland region to connect with the available employment and training initiatives, which help us to employ a more sustainable workforce," he said.

"As farmers we are able to go about our core business of growing fruit and vegetables, QAWN provides us with an essential information resource to help us to attract and employ people with the right skills and attributes at all stages of the season."

In May last year, ABS data revealed there were more than 296,000 employed in agriculture, forestry and fishing industries.

But the bureau projected employment growth in such industries would fall by 0.8 per cent by May 2022.


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