The diverse nature of agriculture in NSW was highlighted at a special Department of Primary Industries (DPI) stakeholders event at Sydney Royal on Tuesday night.
The new Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall, addressed the gathering of leading ag figures, including executives from NSW Farmers, telling them that the right to farm would be one of the major issues the NSW Government would pursue in its new term. He attacked vegan protestors for threatening the livelihood of farmers.
Mr Marshall applauded the work of the Department of Primary Industries, one of the oldest government departments in Australia.
He noted DPI chief Scott Hansen, was the only director-general of any department, showing how valued the department was.
The DPI released figures showing how diverse the rural economy was in NSW, with the contribution of recreational fishing, hunting and game management included in the statistics for the first time.
Despite one of the worst droughts in memory, the ag sector had performed amazingly well in 2017-18, according to DPI figures, showing NSW primary industries had an estimated output of $17.5 billion.
Beef cattle led the way, followed by horticulture, wool, cotton and wheat.
Interestingly the DPI document says recreational fishing, including charter fishing, hunting and game management had an output of $3.8 billion.
NSW primary industry exports earned $5.4 billion, with the highlights showing the US accounted for 62 per cent of sheep and goat meat exports, China accounted for 83 per cent of the wool market exports, India was a key market for chickpeas, and Italy loves our durum wheat.