Tasmania’s agricultural mix is vast, covering 10 different sectors, but intensive grazing/dairy comes out as the biggest industry.
Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture’s TasAgFuture project initial survey results show intensive grazing/dairy is the main line of business for 20.4 per cent of respondents.
Mixed farming followed closely behind as the main business for 16.0 per cent; and extensive grazing, at 14.4 per cent; tree, vine or berry crops, at 12.4 per cent; and food processing/manufacture, at 10.8 per cent; round out the state’s top five agricultural sectors.
Information from the institute’s TasAgFuture project will be used to determine the future research priorities for Tasmania’s agriculture and food sectors.
The TasAgFuture team conducted surveys and interviews at Agfest and over winter, with respondents from all three major regions within the state participating, project leader Dr Peat Leith said.
“Engagement in the survey was excellent – we received a diverse spread of responses from across the state, from a wide range of agriculture and food businesses and different age groups. This means the data is valid and extremely useful,” Dr Leith said.
“Thanks to help from a number of industry groups, we now have a huge amount of information about the sector and we are sharing it with participants, industry and government bodies, and the public through a series of reports.
“We can see from the data that respondents’ goals focus on producing quality food, growing their businesses, looking after the land and contributing to community,” he said.
Dr Leith said the reports highlighted factors that constrained and influenced agricultural and food businesses, and strategies people are using to advance their goals, for example, investing in professional development for staff.
“The TasAgFuture project is developing a better understanding of Tasmania’s diverse agriculture and food sector and helping TIA develop a research strategy that can support the goals of the sector,” he said.
TIA researchers are now analysing data from the survey and 100 in-depth interviews carried out earlier this year with food producers and processors.
A detailed report summarising the analysis of all data collected through the TasAgFuture project will be available in early 2019.
Initial data from the TasAgFuture project is presented in reports based on region and type of agriculture or food business.
These reports are publicly available at utas.edu.au/tia/tasagfuture.
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