A well known agricultural developer wants policy reform to create a cotton industry in the NT following the success of one of the NT's first commercial crops.
"The cotton industry will energise agriculture across the north of Australia and will be the cornerstone of a new era in agriculture investment," Ron Greentree said.
More than 150 backers of the cotton industry came together at the North Australia Crop Research Alliance Field walks held in Kununurra this week to view successful trials.
Mr Greentree, the event's keynote speaker, took the opportunity to announce the newly formed North Australia Cropping Alliance, which will see North Queensland, the Northern Territory and the Ord joining forces.
"This is an opportunity for the industry across northern Australia to unite and focus energies and resources to develop the cotton industry, create regional jobs and boost local economies," he said.
The united approach is expected to send a message to government that producers are serious about creating a cotton industry,
"Producers across Northern Australia want to engage in mature conversations about policy settings to enable the industry to develop" Mr. Greentree said.
"The North Australia Cropping Alliance is keen to collaborate with all stakeholders to make this a reality. We have significant investment and development partners watching with much interest."
It has been just over one week since one of the NT's first commercial crops, about 50km outside of Katherine, was harvested.
The "dryland" crop was part of an NT industry which, by the looks of it, is about to explode across the Top End, as more farmers move towards diversifying their properties.
Steve Black from Edith Springs Station waved goodbye to almost 100 bales of cotton from his first ever harvest, and is already making plans to continue in the industry.
Despite strong opposition to cotton crops across the Top End due to the extensive water usage, Mr Black said the "dryland" cotton industry has big potential.
Further afield, Mr. Bruce Connolly from Tipperary Station, located about 55 kilometres south of Adelaide River, was buoyed by the success of his first crop, harvested at the same times at Mr Black's.
Currently being freighted to a Gin in southern Queensland for processing Mr Connolly said research by NACRA is reducing environmental risks of the controversial crop.
"We are learning so much that will reduce the risks into the future," he said.
"The key areas for policy reform to create an industry was the ability to sub-lease pastoral properties, access to a consistent water supply and the construction of a Gin in Northern Australia.
"The current application process for Non-Pastoral Use permits was far too slow and prescriptive."
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