Budget Paper 1994-95 No.6 Northern Territory Economy
Tabled Paper 2156
Tabled Papers for 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
Tabled by Barry Coulter
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.
Rural Industries and Fisheries The lifting o f the ban in 1993 on Territory produce to markets in Queensland and New South Wales has restored growers confidence, especially those involved with cucurbit crops. Horticulture Outlook Horticulture production has grown and diversified markedly in recent years, illustrating a progressive realisation o f the industrys potential. The Territory enjoys certain comparative advantages due to its capacity to supply (both interstate and overseas) early season and out- of-season markets with a range o f produce, particularly fruit. In recognition o f the demand from these diversified markets, both areas planted to fruit trees and fruit tree varieties are steadily increasing. Prospects for increased mango, melon and banana production are particularly promising. Banana production is expected to receive a significant boost with the planned entry o f Chiquita Brands South Pacific to the Territory industry. Good prospects also exist for the nursery and cut flower industries. The nursery industry in particular is believed to possess significant potential in light o f the Territorys climatic advantages for the production o f a wide range o f tropical and subtropical plants. Orchids and heliconias are produced for markets in southern capital cities, as well as overseas export to markets in Singapore and Hong Kong. Kangaroo Paw and Gypsophila are promising cut flowers from Central Australia. On balance, the relative stage o f development o f the Territorys horticulture industry together with specific natural advantages bode well for future expansion. Continued favourable climatic conditions, maintenance o f disease-free status, improving product quality, concerted marketing efforts and unrestricted access to domestic and international markets will underpin industry growth which is projected to reach $50 million by the year 2 000. Mixed Farming The development during the 1980s o f farming areas for grain crops in the Douglas-Daly and Katherine regions has been the basis for the recent transformation o f these areas into mixed farming systems, integrating a range o f cropping and livestock enterprises. In 1992/93, 3 405 tonnes o f cereal grains and 245 tonnes o f mung beans and sesame seed were produced with a total value o f $ 1.0 million. The cereal grains are marketed by the NT Grain Marketing Board and are used as inputs into local intensive livestock industries. Crop and hay production for livestock feeding, nurseries and urban gardens was estimated to be worth an additional $2.8 million in 1992/93. The Territory Government recently announced a strategy to increase agricultural development in the Katherine-Daly River Region. A new road network and other initiatives will see a 60