Horticulture, broad acre cropping and forestry

Location: Various, Northern Territory, Australia

Sector: Agribusiness

Investment type: Partnership, purchase, lease or joint venture

Project status: Proposed

Cotton crop

The opportunity

The Territory is well renowned for mango production and produces melons, vegetables, grapes, tropical fruit, ornamental plants, pastures and fodder crops. There is growing interest in broad acre crops for food (for example, rice and peanuts) or fibre (for example, cotton and industrial hemp), as well as a maturing plantation forestry estate.

Investment opportunities available include:

  • pastoral land (joint ventures to develop pastoral lease land for higher value agriculture)
  • freehold land (outright purchase or joint venture)
  • Aboriginal freehold lands (joint venture or lease arrangements with Traditional Owners and Aboriginal enterprises).

There are also value adding opportunities available on the back of increased investment and production in these sectors. These include food processing, timber milling, livestock feed manufacturing, and transport and logistics.

Why the Territory

There is still significant potential for further development of plant industries on the Territory’s abundant land, where suitable water and soil resources co-exist. There are regional differences in temperature, rainfall and humidity within the Territory which provide opportunities for different crops, horticultural products and forestry commodities.

The different climatic zones range from:

  • the tropical Top End: higher rainfall suitable for tropical crops
  • the Katherine and Barkly regions: semi-arid and suitable for a range of irrigated and rain-fed crops
  • Central Australia: low humidity and low temperatures suitable for vegetable, fruit, crops and fodder.

Many crops that grow in the Territory are harvested earlier than those grown in southern Australia. This gives the Territory a distinct market advantage in Australia as well as providing counter-seasonal opportunities in overseas markets.

Crop irrigation

Sector snapshot

The Territory mango industry produces roughly half of Australia’s total mango crop annually, selling to both domestic and international markets. Growth in demand for Australia’s horticultural produce is burgeoning in South East Asia, China and the USA, presenting opportunities for future growers to enter the market.

The Territory’s forestry industry supplies timber products to many markets, including luxury furniture manufacturers, oil for fragrance and beauty products, as well as logs and woodchips for timber mills domestically and overseas markets such as China.

Broad acre cropping is in the developing stages and on the back of the Northern Territory Government’s soil and water studies, looks set to underpin investment in processing industries such as cotton ginning. Successful trials of crops such as cotton and peanuts presents an exciting market opportunity for growers to enter the market.

For more information on plan industries development, go to the Department of Primary Industry and Resources website.

The Northern Territory Government provides targeted high quality land suitability and water resource information to support successful agricultural development. For high priority horticultural development areas, land and water study information, go to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources website.

Contact details

Peter Cottle
Director - Agribusiness Development
Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade

Phone: +61 8 8999 6058
aginvest.dpir@nt.gov.au

Disclaimer: This web page includes information provided by third parties. The information is general in nature and is for information purposes only. The Northern Territory Government makes no representation about the veracity or accuracy of information provided by third parties. You must rely on your own due diligence before proceeding. You should consider seeking independent professional advice.