Students across the Territory will be given experiences of farming under a new initiative to encourage them into agriculture.
The NT Farmers Association will receive $700,000 in funding from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment for school outreach programs in an effort to boost local participation in the industry.
CEO Paul Burke said the program aims to reconnect younger generations with farming and address the unhealthy reliance of Territory agriculture on foreign workers and experts.
"For the past two decades there's been this increasing disconnection between rural and urban communities," he said.
"We're currently in the position where we have to get more than 2000 overseas workers in every year to fill jobs because we absolutely have a shortage of people interested in the industry.
"Agriculture is quite diverse, we've been struggling to get experts on irrigation, beekeepers, agronomists.
"There's a broad range of positions there so to speak with kids while they're young and show them what farms are like is a really exciting opportunity," Mr Burke said.
Agriculture in the NT continues to grow and is now valued in excess of $1 billion.
Mr Burke says the program will adapt on a school-by-school basis to provide kids with the closest experience they can have to being on a farm.
In some cases this will mean virtual experiences with tools such as Virtual Reality.
In other areas such as Katherine where farms are easily accessible, the program will be looking to facilitate kids visiting actual industry farms in their local areas.
"Katherine has immense agricultural potential so that's certainly an area where we will focus in on the kids there," Mr Burke said.
"We're looking to hire an education officer by July 11 and that person can be based in Katherine or Darwin, we haven't set a specific location for them," he said.
Mr Burke says the program won't focus upon any particular area of the industry, but will instead try to demonstrate the diversity of farming already present in the Northern Territory.
"NT Farmers look forward to ensuring that Fisheries, Forestry, Livestock, Indigenous Food and fibre are all well represented in this project," Mr Burke Said.
"With significant growth opportunity in agriculture in the Northern Territory, now is the perfect time to commence these important educational works," he said.
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