NT Farmers MAY/JUNE Newsletter

Growing Agribusiness Jobs across the Territory
4 July 2017
Minister for Primary Industry and Resources, Ken Vowles, today announced the awarding of $1.55 million over the next three years, to support the NT Farmers Association and grow jobs across the NT.
Mr Vowles said the funding will provide NT Farmers with the resources required to foster innovation and sustainability, and deliver the skills required to develop the sector.
“I’m especially thrilled to announce funding for NT Farmers to put on a permanent Horticultural Industry Development Officer in Katherine, this is a great step towards our election commitment to develop Katherine as a major agribusiness, commodities and logistics hub,” Mr Vowles said.
“This will assist horticultural producers to access new markets, diversity and explore alternative crops, and improve farm biosecurity and labour practices, which will in turn increase production and return to the local economy.
“The Territory Labor Government has a vision for Katherine, centred on its strategic logistical location and abundant natural resources and pastoral land.
“Investing in strategic resources to develop Katherine’s agribusiness is the smart thing to do, to create jobs and opportunities for the long term” Mr Vowles said.
The funding also secures the NT Farmers a Workforce Planning Coordinator to help better plan for seasonal labour, including the investigation of an NT-based pilot project to attract international workers through a specific horticultural visa.
The Territory’s mango industry has also received funding for a Mango Industry Development officer, to be based in Darwin, to further develop and expand the NT’s biggest horticultural industry.
Member for Katherine, Sandra Nelson, said the funding for a Katherine-based Development officer is fantastic news for the region.
“Katherine is ideally placed to become one of the nation’s great agribusiness hubs, and this will drive jobs, economic development and will attract families and workers to the area,” Ms Nelson said.
Simon Smith, President of NT Farmers, says the funding is strategic and targeted to meet the specific needs of industry.
“Reliable labour has been identified as the single biggest issue for the horticulture industry and the funding for a Workforce Planning Coordinator will help to streamline and develop NT-based solutions to labour shortages and to grow our industry,” Mr Smith said.

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