A snapshot of agriculture in Tasmania

30 April, 2014

Launceston today hosts the first ABARES Regional Outlook Conference of the year, which provides an important snapshot of Tasmania's agriculture sector and the opportunities ahead.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, opened the conference and highlighted the importance of developing relationships and working together to capitalise on opportunities in the agricultural sector.

"The value of Tasmania's agriculture and fisheries production and wood and paper product sales amounts to around $2.6 billion and employs more than 10,000 people, making a vital contribution to Australian agriculture and the economy," Senator Colbeck said.

"The Coalition took a policy direction to the 2013 federal election recognising agriculture as a pillar of the Australian economy and we are delivering on our commitments to revitalise the sector and increase profitability."

Senator Colbeck said concluding a trade deal with Japan is an unprecedented achievement that would give growers and producers an advantage in accessing the valuable Japanese market.

"Australia is the largest agricultural producer to whom Japan has granted preferential access and this will give Australian producers a significant competitive advantage," he said.

"The Coalition is also investing an additional $100 million in rural research and development over four years, aimed at projects to increase agricultural profitability."

"We have also announced the Tasmanian Fruit and Vegetable Taskforce which will develop an industry-led growth plan focused on opportunities to increase the profitability of the sector."

Senator Colbeck said the Coalition recognises the agricultural sector as an important part of revitalising the Tasmanian economy.

For more than 10 years, the ABARES Regional Outlook conferences have provided valuable economic and scientific data and information specific to Australian regions.

The Launceston Regional Outlook conference is the first of the 2014 ABARES Regional Outlook conferences, which are held annually in each state and the Northern Territory.

More information on this year's conferences can be found at daff.gov.au/abares/regional.

300414 Launceston Outlook Conference
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