AusBN – Western Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Food has announced that it plans to double agriculture production by 2025 despite recent cuts in its budget.
The budget has been cut by A$6.2 million from the last financial year and more than 100 full-time staff are expected to lose their jobs.
Last week the department held a briefing to discuss how the cuts will affect its work.
Rob Delane, director general of Western Australia's Agriculture and Food Department, said: "We have a strategic plan it's been available for well over a year; Agrifood 2025 Plus, which was worked up in close partnership with industry and has a clear aspiration goal of doubling the value of the agricultural and food sector.
"People need to remember that we work in support of an agricultural and food sector that with some further decent rain this year could be worth $8 billion at the farm gate.
"That's not value-added, that's not the additional value that's created in the supply chains, it's not the export and wholesale value which is substantially more than that, but that number is already very big and my total department's budget is just over $200 million.
"It is a small part of the agriculture and food sector, but an incredibly catalytic and valued part so it's really important that everyone understands that we work very closely with industry, that we can add a lot of value and that there is a lot of opportunity here.
"We are doing further work at the moment here which we believe will confirm our aspiration that the value of the WA agriculture and food sector can double and it can double by 2025 or not much beyond that.
"That's absolutely what's driving us, there are a lot of jobs, a lot more business success in that and we remain very aspirational about it."