This year was challenging for our primary producers, their families and our State’s rural communities, however I am proud to have witnessed the strength, solidarity and resilience that has been displayed.
The continuation of one of the worst droughts on record was quickly followed by a catastrophic bushfire season that destroyed millions of hectares of land, stock and feed.
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have also led to significant adaptations in how farmers conduct their business, including variations to sale yards, tighter rules around exporting products and changes in customer demand.
Throughout these challenges, the NSW Government has continued to support our state’s hard-working primary producers.
More than $4 billion in drought assistance and water security measures has been dispersed throughout NSW. Farmers also accessed $2.3 billion in bushfire recovery funding and we continue to work closely with national and international stakeholders to assist in tackling the challenges of COVID-19.
While many industries have been impacted by the current climate, NSW has demonstrated its resilience and versatility. Adapting to these challenges, the State’s farmers have produced an estimated total output of $15.7 billion in the 2019-20 financial year.
This is an outstanding result and only 4% less than the prior corresponding period.
With improved weather conditions in many areas of the state resulting in bumper crops and renewed optimism, combined with the wholehearted support of DPI, there are great opportunities on the horizon for our farmers, their families and rural communities to continue to adapt, grow and most importantly, thrive.
The 2019-20 financial year will go down in history as one of the most challenging on record. NSW primary producers faced a third straight year of one of the worst droughts in history, intense bushfires across large parts of the state, and extreme challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite these challenges, NSW primary industries have remained strong, with farmgate prices for livestock increased in demand, while crop production was down in all areas except wheat and rice.
The economic output detailed within the NSW Primary Industries Performance Data & Insights (PDI) each year since 2016 highlights the underlying strength, resilience and long-term viability of the NSW primary industry sector.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is committed to continuing to increase the value and economic growth of primary industries across NSW. This aligns with the DPI Strategic Plan (2019-2023) which aims to drive stronger primary industries across NSW.
I am proud of the support and assistance DPI’s wide-reaching team of passionate staff has been able to offer to farmers and rural communities across industries including agriculture, biosecurity, food safety, forestry and fisheries.
We will continue to ensure DPI has the right priorities in place to deliver our goal of having a 29 per cent Gross Value Production (GVP) growth to achieve a total NSW primary industries output of $19.3 billion by 2023.
As one of the top plant, animal and environmental research organisations around the globe, DPI also remains committed to working collaboratively with industry to manage a broad range of research and development initiatives which will drive business excellence.
I hope you enjoy reading this publication, which is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the NSW primary industries sector and stands as a testament to the continued determination, strength and resilience of the sector.