Industry in Moira Shire
The economic strengths of the Moira Shire include intensive irrigated agricultural production, associated food processing industries and tourism. The Shire is home to a variety of agricultural industries including horticulture, cereal, oilseed, livestock and dairy production. Agricultural land use accounts for approximately 71 per cent of the total land area, currently divided equally between irrigated and dry-land production.
The food processing sector, comprising principally dairy products (output $632m) and meat processing (output $115m), is the largest sector based on output in the Moira Shire. Food processing also includes significant output in oils and fats (output $43m), fruit and vegetable products (output $14m), wine ($8m) and other food products (output $29m).
The value of agricultural production alone is estimated at approximately $300 million and employs 28.7 per cent of the population. The farms in the Shire provide a cost efficient source of fresh produce and raw materials for the supply of value-added products to rapidly expanding export markets around the world. Local producers and processors play a significant role in the food industry of the local, regional, state and national economy.
The horticultural industries of the Shire are an especially important component of the economy through their production of high value fresh and processed foods including peaches, pears, viticulture crops, tomatoes and vegetables. These industries are recognised as key elements for the long-term prosperity in the irrigation region; they provide high returns per unit of applied water; and are well suited to the climate and topography of the region. 60% of the national canned peach crop is grown around Cobram.