Katherine Town Council has thrown its support behind a bid to establish a cotton gin in the town.
It comes as a series of field days will be held this week in the region as harvest begins on the small number of cotton crops in the Top End, including in the Katherine region.
The letter of support comes at a crucial time for the bid to secure $10 million of NT Government funding for the almost $30 million factor in Katherine to make their plans come true.
Despite reservations from some aldermen about the water usage of cotton, council has sent a letter to NT Farmers supporting the push.
NT Farmers chief executive Paul Burke said farmers were keenly aware Katherine people worried about their water.
Firstly, he says, NT Farmers has a standing policy of not supporting any plans for building of dams on iconic NT rivers like the Roper such as being explored by the Federal Government.
Successful cotton crops have been grown in the Katherine region over the past two years on rain alone, with no irrigation - even though the wet seasons had been the worst in decades.
More reading: Katherine has opposed cotton in the past.
Almost all Territory cotton would rely on the wet season rain, Mr Burke said.
In its letter of support, the council says it is "highly supportive" of the proposed cotton industry in general and its likely creation of new jobs.
A business case has been made for the location of a cotton gin in Katherine.
Enthusiasm for cotton is growing fast but farmers say despite the potential of the broadacre crop in the Katherine region, it needs to be close to a production site to be ensured success.
About 1000 hectares of cotton is being grown in trial sites across the Territory on five properties in Douglas Daly, Katherine and at Tipperary.
A business case to support the cotton gin proposal which was released recently, suggests many recent land sales in the Territory were by buyers with interest in converting pastoral lands to broadacre crops.
Within a decade the industry could be worth at least $200 million and directly employ over 250 workers, NT Farmers chief executive Paul Burke said.
Mr Burke said modern growing practices put lie to the reputation of cotton as a "thirsty crop".
The council letter supports the building of a cotton gin in Katherine and the upgrade of the road from Douglas Daly to Katherine.
Council said it believed it could be a "catalytic project for the regional community".
"Always of concern is the allocation of water for any development in our region," the letter of support reads.
Council said it looked forward to a presentation from NT Farmers to council so it had a "better understanding" of the cotton gin process.
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