One of the main elements of Primary Industries is agriculture, which involves the growing of crops and the raising of animals for domestic and export purposes. Agriculture is supported by the New South Wales Government through the provision of information, and carrying out research on a broad range of topics of relevance to the rural sector. These include the identification of pests (both plant and animal) and methods of eradication, the study of soil (including soil fertility and the prevention of erosion), irrigation methods, agricultural chemicals and efficient production methods for various types of crops and livestock.
The function covers the marketing of agricultural produce, and protection and regulation of the industries by providing or arranging financial assistance, preventing the spread of disease by quarantine, impounding animals and requiring notification of some diseases. The function also includes agricultural education, through the provision of specialised agricultural colleges and continuing education programs.
The term also covers the various activities associated with assisting the fisheries, forestry and mining industries. It includes the protection, development and regulation of these industries, setting standards, instigating research and marketing the products.