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The value of cotton for rural Australian communities

Cotton represents a crucial ally for the future of many Australian communities, as evidenced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2021 Agricultural Census. The collected data demonstrate the significant financial contribution that cotton makes to Australia‘s rural and regional communities. This textile fiber provides more than 10% of the gross value of the crop in 24 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the 2020/21 season.

Data and forecasts

According to the 2021 Agricultural Census by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), cotton was cultivated in 65 local government areas, and over 75% of the expenses related to cotton farming were spent locally. Out of these areas, cotton production contributed more than $1 million to the local economies in 38 LGAs, with 25 in New South Wales, nine in Queensland, three in the Northern Territory, and one in West Australia.

The forecasts of the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resources Economics and Sciences (ABARES) are even more promising. For the 2022-23 period, the gross value of cotton production is expected to be close to $3.4 billion. 
Furthermore, exports of this textile fiber will reach a value of 5.1 billion dollars due to the delays in shipments that have characterized the previous twelve months.

A team effort

A record crop of 5.6 million bales was documented last year, and it is expected that 5 million bales will be produced this year. These 10 million-plus bales are estimated to inject about $7 billion into the Australian economy, with a significant amount of this spending happening locally.

The CEO of Cotton Australia, Adam Kay, underlines the willingness to solve the labor shortage, through a joint operation with the federal government, to ensure safe and continuous assistance to farmers.


Read also: How the Indian textile industry is creating employment (in a environmentally friendly way)
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