Surveying veg industry

By Country News

An industry-wide survey of vegetable growers is set to gather information to help Australia’s $3.9billion vegetable growing industry manage challenges and plan for the future.

The survey results will provide a national and state-by-state picture of the vegetable-growing industry and highlight its importance in the Australian economy, according to Assistant Agriculture and Water Resources Minister Richard Colbeck.

‘‘The Australian vegetable growing sector is an important source of food and a major contributor to jobs and the Australian economy,’’ Mr Colbeck said.

‘‘Investing consistently in information and tools that the industry needs to make the decisions will define the future success for the vegetable sector in Australia.

‘‘The survey collects data about production, financial performance and socio-economic characteristics of approximately 300 vegetable growing farms, providing accurate information to industry and government to ensure research and development initiatives are effectively targeted.’’

Topics that will be covered this year include farm structure, land use, production, capital, income, costs, debts, assets and farm labour for the 2017-18 financial year, and selected estimates for 2018-19.

‘‘It is the fourth most valuable agricultural industry in Australia, valued at $3.9billion in 2016-17, and is also the backbone of many rural and regional economies and communities,’’ Mr Colbeck said.

‘‘It contributes significantly to the strength of our horticulture sector, which is forecast to be valued at $12billion by 2022-23.’’

The 2019 survey began on March 4 and is expected to be completed by May with the results to be released in September.