The NT Plant based agricultural sector has officially surpassed over $500 million in farm gate revenue for the first time in the history of the Northern Territory. The milestone demonstrates the significant role industry plays in growing the NT into a $40 billion economy by 2030.

“The industry is growing at an impressive 11.60% per year and will continue to expand thanks to significant agricultural investment planed for the NT. Nearly all our major commodities such as mangoes, melons and cotton will increase production over the next few years.’ Mr Paul Burke said, NT Farmers Association CEO.

‘To celebrate National Agriculture Day, NT Farmers are releasing newly developed statistics that provide an insight into the size of the industry. Data collection is undertaken every two years and is used to inform government on trends in the industry. The recently compiled statistics apply to the 2021 production year.’

‘In 1980 the plant based agricultural sector was valued at less than $1 million, today it is valued at over half a billion dollars. The growth in the sector clearly indicates the important role agriculture plays in the NT economy.’

‘The melon and vegetable sectors have experienced amazing economic returns with each rising 18.44% and 15.52% respectively since 2019. The mango industry is still our largest commodity sector with $128 million in revenue generated every year.’

‘For the first time since we began collecting this economic data, we have recorded the economic output of the cotton industry. In 2017 farmers began trialling modern cotton in the Territory and now it is a $21.3 million industry. We expect the industry to expand at a responsible rate thanks to high cotton prices and the strong cotton yields achieved to date in the Territory.’

‘Farmers are growing our economy and creating thousands of jobs for Territorians, particularly in our regional towns. Unlike other boom and bust industries, the agricultural sector has consistently made a strong contribution to the NT economy and created long term jobs.’

‘The statistics are impressive considering the challenges agriculture has faced recently. We have experienced multiple biosecurity threats and adverse weather conditions since 2019. However, the industry has successfully managed to overcome the challenges and enhance its economic returns.’

‘The future looks bright for the industry with significant interest from large agricultural investors in the Territory and strong commodity prices. Our farmers are perfectly positioned to continue to supply food and fibre to the rest of Australia and the world. Territory mangoes are now being enjoyed in new markets such as Korea and Hong Kong.’ Mr Burke stated.

CommodityValue ($ million)
Tropical Fruits10.70
Field crops and fodder34.60
Nursery and Turf21.50
NT Markets10.90
Difference since 201911.60%


For further information contact:

Paul Burke

CEO NT Farmers Association



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