05 Aug 2016
The Department of Land Resource Management (DLRM) today released a report that has identified 8994 hectares as ‘high class’ land for agriculture.
DLRM Land Assessment Branch Director Jason Hill said these deep, sandy or loamy surfaced red earths on level to gently undulating plains in close proximity to Darwin presented significant economic opportunity.
Mr Hill said potential crops identified for possible growth include tropical citrus, cucurbits, fruiting vegetable crops, and leafy vegetables and herbs.
“Soils and land fall into four different categories and ‘high class’ is as good as it gets,” Mr Hill said.
“More than 70 specific crops were identified as suitable for agricultural development in the Soil and Land Suitability Assessment for Irrigated Agriculture in the Wildman River area report released today, available at www.landresources.nt.gov.au/rangelands/publications/land-soil-vegetation
“A soil and land suitability investigation for irrigated agriculture was undertaken on lands east of Darwin in the Wildman River region covering 34,304 hectares, which identified 8994 hectares of 'high class' land suitable for agriculture.
“We look forward to the completion of the surface and groundwater investigation currently underway, with a water resource drilling program planned for the current financial year.”
This soil and land suitability investigation for irrigated agriculture, on lands east of Darwin in the Wildman River region, is one of several to be funded under the Northern Territory Government’s $9.6 million commitment over four years, announced in Budget 2014.
A similar investigation in the Larrimah Area has already identified 22,000 hectares of land which is suitable for diversification and the Department is currently undertaking ongoing soil and land suitability investigations across many parts of the Territory, including Ali Curung, Ti Tree, Tennant Creek, Wadeye, Gunn Point and Barkly Tableland.
The findings in the report released today were made possible using the Darwin-Tiwi Island Agricultural Land Suitability Framework (Version 1 2016).
This framework was developed in collaboration with Northern Territory Farmers Association representatives and will be updated as new crops, technologies and information becomes available.
Media Note – for more information/interview please contact Jason Hill on 8999 4443