Agriculture in the Greater Whitsunday
The Greater Whitsunday region spans 90,354km² and accounts for around 5% of Queensland’s total land mass.¹
Agriculture comprises 89% of the region’s land use, boasting diverse agricultural commodities dominated by cattle, sugar cane and horticulture (fruits and vegetables). Grains and aquaculture are also significant contributors to the region’s agricultural production.
An overview of the Greater Whitsunday
From 5% of Queensland’s land mass, the Greater Whitsunday region delivers around 10% of the state’s agricultural production¹, positioning the region as a key industry contributor in Queensland and Australia.
Was the region’s 2019-2020 gross value of agricultural production²
Growing the Australian Agriculture Sector
With global demand for food expected to double by 2040 and the Australian Federal Government plans to grow the Australian agriculture sector from $61 billion per year to $100 billion per year by 2030, through the Delivering Ag2030 program, regions like the Greater Whitsunday are perfectly positioned to grow.² To ensure the Greater Whitsunday region capitalises on this opportunity, GW3 and other key stakeholders including Regional Development Australia MIW and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, have formed the MIW Agribusiness Futures Alliance. The intention of the Alliance is to develop the MIW agribusiness industry capacity and capability with a view to increasing productivity and export potential of all agriculture sectors.
Plans to grow the Australian agriculture sector to $100B per year by 2030.
As a major Queensland agricultural player, the Greater Whitsunday region boasts several key strengths:
- A mature and diverse agriculture base.
- Availability of land to support growth.
- Enviable location with moderate climate and access to water.
- Highly skilled workforce.
- Sophisticated supply chain and transport network.
The Greater Whitsunday region is home to two Queensland Government Aquaculture Development Areas (ADA) and is on track to increase production to 20,000 tonnes of prawns within the next ten years.
- Tiger Prawns
Learn about Aquaculture in Greater Whitsunday
Broadacre cropping (not including sugarcane) contributed almost $100million to the region’s agricultural output in 2021.
Learn about Broadacre Farming in Greater Whitsunday
Bowen is one of the largest winter vegetable growing regions in Australia and contributes more than $233million in output.
Learn about Horticulture in Greater Whitsunday
The livestock industry is the largest contributor to the Greater Whitsunday region’s agricultural production with an estimated $627.7million in 2021.
- Beef cattle
Learn about Livestock in Greater Whitsunday
Sugarcane growing is the region’s second largest contributor to total agricultural production in the Greater Whitsunday region, contributing $329.3million in value.
- Sugar refinery
- Bio ethanol production
- Cogeneration electricity production
Learn about Sugarcane in Greater Whitsunday
The Greater Whitsunday region has many emerging sectors within the agriculture sector including agave; algae and biomanufacturing. Agave production is an exciting new regional crop which includes fermentation and distillation of an Australian Agave spirit category, with sustainability and innovation at its core. Another emerging sector is Genesis Algae, based in Bowen. This natural algae produces exceptional quality stockfeed supplements and bio fertilisers and is also leading the way to evolving both the agtech and biomanufacturing in the region. The Greater Whitsunday region has been identified globally as a key region for biomanufacturing development. The region’s established and varied agriculture sector provides the biomanufacturing sector with access to some of the world’s most energy dense and productive biomass feedstocks.
- AEC Group Ltd 2022, Greater Whitsunday Agribusiness Supply Chain Baseline Study, Greater Whitsunday Alliance.
- Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics and Sciences 2020, Agriculture Sector in Mackay Region, Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry, viewed 14 April 2023, <https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/australian.bureau.of.agricultural.and.resource.economics.and.sci/viz/AMR_v9_A3L/Dashboard1>.