After years of incremental growth, agrifood in the Northern Territory is set to develop at scale.
Featuring quality soils, unspoiled environments, strict biosecurity management and high agriculture standards, the Northern Territory is a perfect place to grow and produce foods for both domestic and international markets. The Territory’s rapidly growing horticulture industry already accounts for half of Australia’s mango production and is a significant producer and supplier of high-quality Asian vegetables and melons.
In 2019, the value of horticulture in the Northern Territory rose by A$63 million to reach A$341 million.
The Territory also boasts first-rate water resources. The pristine waters of the Territory’s extensive coastline offer ideal environments for fishing and aquaculture. This translates into abundant opportunities for businesses able to add value in areas such as wild catch fisheries and fish processing.
Government is investing in research and facilities that will make the Territory an epicentre of excellence in agricultural research and development. To support the development of new technologies, products and services in agrifood and other core industries, the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia is investing $75m over ten years in industry-led research collaborations.
The Northern Territory Government is also growing the agrifood industry with the development of a Logistics and Agribusiness Hub. The new hub, near the town of Katherine, will support industry to capitalise on the region’s unique and diverse opportunities – from traditional beef cattle production to new crops supplying Asian markets and the commercialisation of Australia’s own bush foods.
Incentives, grants and support
Skilled individuals and businesses can access advice and support for migrating, investing and working in the Northern Territory. There are financial incentives for business owners as well as government grants to support businesses and individuals to make their mark.
The Darwin Innovation Hub provides startups, scaleups and established businesses with access to extensive networks, information, resources and strategies. It also has grants available through its Entrepreneurs Programme to help eligible applicants grow their business and there’s access to venture capital through the Paspalis Innovation Investment Fund.
As well as producing some of the world’s best fibre, Australian cotton growers are leaders in water efficiency. Recent trials of the pest-resistant Bollgard3 cotton variety at Katherine Research Station have tested new technologies and rain-fed cropping systems, building local expertise in optimising growth, production and sustainability.