Ripe with potential
Innovation and collaboration have been identified as the catalysts for unlocking the potential of agriculture in Northern Australia at a conference in Darwin last month.
Twelve forums were conducted as part of the second Developing Northern Australia Conference.
The food and agribusiness forum was facilitated by Pilbara Development Commission acting chief executive Terry Hill.
Presenting the forum findings to more than 350 delegates from across Australia, Mr Hill said Northern Australia had huge potential for agriculture.
“The rising middle class in China and other Asian countries will continue to drive demand for safe, fresh and high-quality produce,” he said.
“By harnessing emerging technologies, we can develop new crops that are better suited to the climate and environment of Northern Australia, while also leveraging existing export infrastructure and trade links with Asian markets.
“We’re leading the way in technology with a cropping trial under way using mine dewater to test the feasibility of irrigated agriculture in the Pilbara.”
Remaining competitive in the global market was also raised as key to growing a sustainable and prosperous industry.
“We are not alone in targeting Chinese investors and markets; China is the major trading partner for more than 120 other nations,” Mr Hill said.
“This is significant for us as we need to be a preferred partner for trading our resources and as a place for future investment.”
Pilbara Development Commission acting chief executive Terry Hill at the Developing Northern Australia conference.