Ag looks positive for post coronavirus

Marshall: Ag looks positive for post coronavirus

Coronavirus
Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall says it's a good time to be in agriculture if the seasonal conditions were with you, because product is in high demand.

Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall says it's a good time to be in agriculture if the seasonal conditions were with you, because product is in high demand.

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Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall says it's a good time to be in agriculture if the seasonal conditions were with you, because product is in high demand.

Aa

Agriculture will be one of the few sectors that will come out of COVID-19 restrictions better than how it went into it, says Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall.

As consumers continue to strip the supermarket shelves of produce, Mr Marshall said the coronavirus pandemic had highlighted the importance of food production.

"It's highlighted the one thing that Australia does better than almost anyone else in the world and that is food production, and high quality, premium products," Mr Marshall said.

He added the agriculture sector was one of the very few sectors that was "almost completely un-impacted" by COVID-19 in a negative way.

"The impact of COVID-19 on agriculture if anything has been positive, it certainly hasn't been negative," Mr Marshall said.

The impact of COVID-19 on agriculture if anything has been positive - NSW Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall

"It's one of the industries that will come out of the other side of COVID-19 if anything probably in a stronger position that the condition we went into it.

"The results of people literally stripping the shelves of their supermarkets of produce, including meat, means that demand for Australian produce domestically is high, as well as internationally now that China has opened back up, it is red-hot at the moment.

"It's a good time to be in agriculture if the seasonal conditions are with you because product is in high demand."

Mr Marshall said while Europe had been hard hit by the virus, he said major international trading export markets were still strong.

"There are still good opportunities and exports aren't looking too bad at the moment," he said.

However, he said there had been some interruptions with international freight as passenger aircraft were being grounded, which was where much of Australia's produce travelled - in the bellies of those aircraft.

"A lot is being resolved and the shipping industry has stepped up and is taking a lot of the produce that usually goes on planes," he said.

Mr Marshall has a phone hook up with his state counterparts and federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud every week to make sure the agriculture food supply chain was not interrupted or impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.

"Everyone has to eat and that's what we do well. While I discourage panic buying, the upside to it is that demand for Australian produce has skyrocketed," he said.

Meanwhile, he said many regional businesses had changed the way they were operating due to the current restrictions.

"A number of businesses are doing things they have never done before, they are doing home deliveries or contactless pick up," he said.

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