Budget Paper No.6 1997/98 Northern Territory Economy
Tabled Paper 3223
Tabled Papers for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT
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.
for fodder production and there is demand for more farming land for this purpose. As well as growing hay for local markets, fodder crops are grazed by cattle destined for live export to South East Asia through Darwin. The demand for higher quality hay production continues to increase for the live cattle trade and for input into the other animal industries. Although the value of field crop production (sorghum, mungbeans, sesame, rice and maize) declined from $0.6 million in 1994-95 to $0.5 million in 1995-96, there was an increase in the estimated value of hay and seed production from $2.1 million to $2.4 million during the same period. The potential for irrigated crops of cotton and peanuts in addition to fodder and seed is being tested. Horticulture Horticulture production continued to register positive growth in 1996, despite a rather disappointing mango season due to unfavourable weather and flowering/fruiting conditions. The preliminary estimate of the total value of horticulture production (including the nursery and cut flower industry) is $46.0 million compared to $44.8 million in 1995, an increase of approximately 2.7%. Most horticultural commodities achieved good prices especially mangoes, table grapes, melons, rambutan and most vegetables. During 1996, mango flowering was poor, staggered and extended to August. In many instances, this was accompanied by vegetative flush with heavy fruit drop especially from late flowering. Consequently, overall yields were low, resulting in slightly lower total production for 1996 at around 5 515 tonnes compared with 5 598 tonnes in 1995. The total value of the mango industry in 1996 is tentatively estimated at $18.9 million, about 3.9% lower than the 1995 value of $19.7 million. Northern Territory mango quality during last year was further improved with the implementation of the Northern A-peel trade mark and the continuation of the quality assurance scheme (that is, monitoring and feedback by independent market assessors). With better domestic prices received during the year, exports of Territory mangoes to overseas markets were well down, from 214 tonnes in 1995 to approximately 33 tonnes in 1996. Quarantine protocol against Queensland papaya fruit fly for the export of mangoes to Japan by vapour heat treatment has been tested and accepted by Japan since last year. Therefore, export of mangoes to Japan can now be resumed normally. A total of about 1 400 tonnes of table grapes was produced in 1996, a decrease of around 12.5% compared with 1995. However, the value of the table grape crop is estimated to be similar to last year at around $6.4 million, due to better prices received in the 1996-97 season. Most of the Rural Industries and Fisheries 59