THE agriculture sector plays a vital part in the rapid growth of regionalisation a new report has found.
Commissioned by NSW Farmers, the Stronger Ag, Stronger Regions report found a strong agricultural sector was crucial to helping regional centres grow and attract new residents.
The report comes as the state's livestock prices reach record highs while growers are anticipating a bumper harvest and metropolitan residents relocate to the bush in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This report confirms what we've suspected for some time, that the fates of farms and farming communities and closely intertwined," NSW Farmers President James Jackson said.
"Agriculture is an increasingly important sector both in terms of economic output and food security, and we're playing a key role in removing carbon from the atmosphere."
The report also outlined connectivity, infrastructure and workforce were the three main areas needing a boost in order to continue sustained regional growth.
"NSW Farmers has a goal of growing the agriculture sector in our state to $30 billion by 2030, and that means more regional jobs and more opportunities for our communities," Mr Jackson said.
"When COVID arrived, people started flocking to the regions and there's clearly a strong level of interest in developing these towns and cities in the right way."
Based on the report's findings, Mr Jackson said the organisation would continue to push the state and federal governments to prioritise five key findings; job creation, cutting red tape for farm businesses, water and environment reform, supply chains and infrastructure and upskilling, training and education.
"What we're doing is looking at every possible way to grow into the future, and with the right support from governments on investment and things like managing land use, we can make sure there's opportunities for everyone," he said.
Hopefully, this report will prompt governments to further invest in rural and regional communities and the future of agriculture, as we will get a win-win for everyone."
The full report is available on the NSW Farmers website: www.nswfarmers.org.au
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