Agriculture, forestry and fishing


The growth of Northern Territory's (NT) agriculture, forestry and fishing industry is a useful indicator to reflect economic activity in the NT's regional and remote areas.  It has important linkages to other sectors of the economy, including retail and wholesale trade, manufacturing and transport. In this section, analysis is provided on activity and production for live cattle and buffalo exports, as well as other livestock products and exports, horticulture, fisheries and forestry.

 Infographic showing GSP Infographic showing persons employed Infographic show percentage of NT workforce


Economic contribution | Contribution to employment | Agriculture | Horticulture | Fisheries | Forestry | Explanatory Notes

The agriculture, forestry and fishing industry is a significant employer and source of economic activity in regional and remote areas of the NT. The industry has important linkages to other sectors of the economy, including retail and wholesale trade, manufacturing and transport. In the past few years, this industry has been performing below long-term averages reflecting a number of seasonal fluctuations and horticultural biosecurity setbacks, which affected production levels.

Economic contribution

Map 1: Northern NT Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing1 (click to enlarge)

Map 1

1  This map is produced from various sources. Department of Treasury and Finance cannot guarantee the accuracy, currency, or completeness of the information. To be used as a guide only.
Source: Department of Treasury and Finance; Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries

Contribution to employment

Agriculture

Live Cattle

International Live Cattle Exports

Interstate Live Cattle

Other Livestock

Boxed Beef

In August 2018, boxed beef production in the NT ceased following the closure of Australian Agricultural Company’s (AACo) Livingstone abattoir outside of Darwin. This was mainly due to high cattle prices, falling demand and a tightening in supply.

However, production is expected to recommence in the third quarter of 2019 with the re-opening of Central Agri Group’s Batchelor abattoir plant.

Crocodile

Buffalo

Horticulture

Threats to Horticulture production

Various exotic plant pests and diseases found in the NT are currently impacting the horticulture production for commercial fruit and vegetable growers:

For more information, visit the Plant diseases and pests information page on the NT Department of Primary Industry and Resources (DPIR) website.

Fisheries

Crustacean production in the NT is dominated by prawns and mud crabs. Fish production largely comprises snapper, barramundi and mackerel. Aquaculture in the NT is primarily related to pearls and barramundi, with a small contribution from aquarium fish and spirulina production (the latter is used as a human diet supplement and a feed supplement in the aquaculture, aquarium and poultry industries). Reported data is the most recent available to date.

The Northern Prawn Fisheries (NPF) reports the number of prawn catches in northern Australia, in the area between Cape York in Queensland and Cape Londonderry in Western Australia. The NPF produces four common commercial species of prawns including white banana prawns, tiger prawns, eastern king prawns and endeavour prawns. The weather and ocean conditions, particularly the level of rainfall during the wet season, are very influential on the productivity of the fishery especially for banana prawns.

Forestry

Plantation forestry is becoming an increasingly important industry and is currently the second largest production land user in the NT after cattle grazing, with more than 49,000 hectares of the NT currently used to produce forestry products in managed plantations. There are currently three plantation forestry projects in the NT:

Explanatory notes