NT Farmers Association (NTFA) continue to build on industry relationships through engagement-focused extension activities with vegetable growers, assisted by stakeholder involvement. Earlier vegetable project contributions were essential in achieving best management practices in the Northern Territory vegetable industry.
The aim of VegNET is to strengthen growers’ business and agronomic models through addressing best-practice gaps and capacity requirements identified through multitiered approached implementation research.
The Northern Territory is a growing region for vegetable production in Australia where significant production increases are due to predominately Vietnamese and Cambodian growers. The Territory relies on its market access to southern states during the dry season generally between May to October while the rest of southern Australia is in winter.
These growers produce predominately Asian leafy green, melons, cucurbits such as cucumbers, squash, zucchini and pumpkins, snake bean, okra, capsicums, chillies, eggplants, spring onions, tomatoes and herbs. The industry is estimated to be worth around $61 million dollars to the NT economy with a total of 21,500 tonnes produced in 2019.
The Regional Extension Plan 2020-2025 identifies 5 key priority issues for the NT vegetable industry. From this plan an annual operational workplan is derived highlighting key extension activities that can bring about and drive practice change for the industry. Underpinning the dynamic nature of these plans are the engagement and input directly from vegetable growers and other key stakeholders.
- To deliver regional capacity building services to the NT vegetable industry
- To increase knowledge of current R & D and facilitate adoption of R & D
- Increase the reach of vegetable R & D programs through engaging stakeholders in networks at a regional level
- To provide linkages to the national industry services and national vegetable training initiatives
Identified Key Priorities
- Integrated Pest Management
- Soil Health
- Water Efficiencies
- Diversifying industry – Protected Cropping