Potential to expand horticultural industries in Northern Australia

24 September 2020
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Northern Australia has long been regarded as an important gateway to the Asian market. However, due to Australia’s focus on supplying the domestic market, horticultural industries in the region have yet to take full advantage of international market opportunities.

The Evaluation of the potential to expand horticultural industries in Northern Australia project undertook an assessment of the production and supply capacity of the horticultural industry in northern Australia (i.e. north Qld, NT and WA), and sought to match that with the market and logistical dynamics of imported mangoes, avocados and lychees in targeted Asian markets.

The research informing this report was conducted through the combination of a stakeholder workshop, desktop analysis of production, trade and market data, and in-depth field discussions with industry bodies, growers and exporters in northern Australia and importers, wholesalers and retailers in Hong Kong, Singapore and China. 

Professor Robert Henry, QAAFI.


This project developed an industry research framework to evaluate the potential to expand horticultural industries in Northern Australia. The final research report explores three major research themes – supply intelligence, market intelligence and supply chain intelligence – as key priorities for action. One of the main findings which emerged from this work was that the voice of the consumer in the Asian markets analysed is not being heard by most growers.

To resolve this challenge the research team propose the establishment of a digital market and supply chain intelligence platform which is accessible to small and medium growers and supported through the establishment of an Export Development Decision Support System (EDDSS).  The  EDSS would enable a large number of supply chain participants from across producing regions and international markets to interact while capturing data and intelligence on the movement of good along import and export supply chains. 

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Evaluation of the potential to expand horticultural industries in Northern Australia Authors: Cao, S., Hine, D., Henry, R., Shaw, L., Mitter, N. published 10 September 2020.

This research was funded and supported by the following participants: The University of Queensland, Horticulture Innovation Australia, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry and Resources (NTDPIR), and Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Rural Development (WADPIRD). 

Contact: Professor Neena Mitter, Centre Director for Horticultural Science, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, The University of Queensland, T: +61 7 334 66513 E: n.mitter@uq.edu.au