Japanese vice Minister for agriculture impressed on Bowen visit

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner has welcomed to Queensland a visiting delegation of senior Japanese government agriculture officials.

The delegation included Mr Susumu Hamamura, Japan’s Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

They visited the Bowen farm of Carl Walker, who is Queensland’s first #eatqld champion.

“This is a very important occasion to make sure we have that trade relationship with Japan to make sure our produce gets in to countries such as Japan itself,” Mr Furner said.

“Visits like this one build on the relationships we forged during our trade mission to Japan last year.

“Stronger relationships and more trade in great Queensland produce mean more jobs in regional Queensland and that is exactly what the Palaszczuk Government is all about.”

Vice Minister Hamamura said “I am impressed that you use a lot of technology to conduct agriculture.”

“Japanese agriculture has a lot to learn from Australian agriculture.”

Mr Hamamura also met young agriculture graduates from Japan who are living and studying in the Whitsunday region as part of a Japanese Agricultural Exchange Council (JAEC) program, an initiative of the Bowen Chamber of Commerce and the Bowen Gumlu Growers Association working in partnership with Trade and Investment Queensland and JAEC.

“I am sure that their experience here will be very valuable,” Mr Hamamura said.

Association president Carl Walker said it was important to have the vice minister from Japan visiting the region.

“We grow some wonderful vegetables during winter. I think we can build a lovely relationship between ourselves and our Japanese friends.” Mr Walker said.

“There’s huge potential here for joint ventures.”

Whitsunday Regional Council mayor Andrew Wilcox said the visit was a wonderful opportunity to highlight the region’s $450m horticultural crop.

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