Agriculture is a major sector within the Townsville North Queensland economy, employing approximately 3,600 people (REMPLAN, 2019) and producing approximately $944 in gross production value in 2018-19. (ABS, 7503.0)
Agricultural land in Townsville North Queensland occupies 85% of the region (13% is occupied by areas classified as conservation and natural environments). Of this, 77% is used for grazing native vegetation. The 2,642 farms calculated to be in the area as at June 2019 (ABS, 8165.0) make up 6.4% of all farm businesses in Queensland.
Sugarcane is the region’s major agricultural commodity, producing $479 million of gross value in 2018-19 followed by beef cattle ($295 million). Other significant regional agricultural commodities include various horticulture including melons, sweet corn, beans, mangoes, and capsicum.
Source: ABS, 7503.0 - Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, 2018-19
North Queensland’s agricultural sector (including key sub-sectors of broad-acre, livestock, horticulture and aquaculture) represents significant growth opportunities for the region. The strong reputation for quality and safety of the region’s produce is driving demand from high growth international markets including China, the Middle East, South Asia and ASEAN.