Aussie farmers feed 30 million people a serve of rice each day for a year
The value of Australia's irrigation crops has been highlighted in the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The data shows Australia's rice growers, of which the southern Riverina is a key driver, produced enough to feed 30 million people one serve of rice each day for a full year in 2016-17.
Irrigated crops were a key part of the 20% increase in value of Australian crops in 2016-17, part of an agricultural industry that overall generated $60.8 billion for Australia.
National Irrigators Council chief executive Steve Whan said as well as cotton and rice, key irrigated crops boosting the balance of payments and generating Australian jobs include sugar cane worth $1.6 billion, fruit and nuts worth $4.2 billion, vegetables worth $3.9 billion, grapes ($1.5b), along with the product of nurseries, cut flowers and turf ($1.5b).
Mr Whan said when rice crops are grown, it supplies
Australian and international markets, producing huge benefits for every Australian.
“Milk production went down in 2016-17 but was still worth $3.7 billion to the nation – most of which wouldn’t be there without irrigation.