A RICH harvest of new jobs have been created in Queensland agriculture, with 10,500 positions opening up in the last 12 months.
Despite drought affecting large parts of the state, jobs have been created in the food and fibre sector.
Latest Labour Force Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows 10,500 new jobs had been created in primary production in Queensland between June 2017 and June 2018.
Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said the jobs were in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries.
“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.
“Our produce has a fantastic reputation for quality and reliability both at home and abroad.
“That is why it is in demand and our farmers are meeting that demand.”
Mr Furner said the state’s agriculture industry continued to grow on the back of technological advances and the courting of expanding Asian export markets.
“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.”
He said more than $3 million was allocated to those programs to ensure they would continue.
Bowen Gumlu Growers Association president and Phantom Produce owner Carl Walker said the program was playing an important role in helping producers in the region to expand their workforces.
“The 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,” Mr Walker 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.”