In 2015/16, 690 banana farms (of more than 0.5ha) marketed a record 393,000 tonnes (based on national levy figures). 371,000t plus was marketed in 2014/15, which was also a record year.
The following table shows significant increases in Queensland as the dominant producing State, over the last two decades.
Australian Banana Production (tonnes)
|2015||353,500||16,000||1,000 *||500 *||371,000|
*Cyclone Olwyn destroyed Carnarvon’s production and the Freckle eradication program meant all NT banana plants in the Top End were destroyed.
In January 2014, CDI Pinnacle released an economic study of the banana industry funded by Horticulture Australia Limited. It noted the farm gate value from the 2012/13 production of 341,000 tonnes was $480 million. This produced a $1.1 billion annual contribution in direct and indirect farm expenditure. The same output multiplier for the 2015/16 production (worth $600 million) results in an annual contribution now of $1.3 billion.
(Source: CDI Pinnacle – Value of Australian Banana Industry to Local and National Economies, 2013).
That same study showed 9,600 full time equivalent jobs in 2009/10 directly and indirectly. This too would have increased since then, in line with industry expansion in North Queensland.
The banana industry is the major economic driver and employer in Tully, Innisfail, Mareeba, Kennedy, Lakeland and Carnarvon.