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The Study outlines an investigation into the identification of agricultural crops capable of being grown in the Herbert River district, including crops complementary to sugar cane.
Townsville Enterprise Limited (TEL), the North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils (NQ ROC) (Townsville, Hinchinbrook, Charters Towers, the Burdekin and Palm Island) , Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) and industry stakeholders have come together to fund the North Queensland Agricultural Market and Supply Study (NQAMSCS) and establish evidence-based recommendations that will assist in harnessing export opportunities and support the long-term agricultural development objectives of the region. The study has adopted a ‘demand led’ approach to the qualification of priority markets and products, existing supply chain opportunities and constraints, industry capacity, sector collaboration and future investment considerations.
The NQAMSCS has been undertaken so that North Queensland’s primary producers, industry peak bodies, stakeholders, investors and the government are in a better position to further consider the appropriate allocation of finite resources and the formulation of supportive policy settings that take into consideration the sectors long-term growth and sustainability.
The study found that there is $3 billion in unmet global market demand across ten of Australia’s leading agricultural export destinations and identified five priority Australian products: beef, avocado, macadamia, on-shore aquaculture and soybean. In addition to this, the study also identified unmet demand in many other categories that are relevant to North Queensland.
Transitioning land use and strategic efforts to embrace the five priority products was estimated to result in a positive NPV of up to $271.1 million and generating approximately 2,000+ new jobs within the region.
Building value in the region’s constrained supply chains was also identified as critical to ensuring the region can meet anticipated global food demand. These specifically include:
Next steps identified in the Study for all parties supportive of the developmental roadmap include establishing co-ops, working with organisations such as Austrade on policy positions, infrastructure investment, and industry coordination on a state-wide mapping process.
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