Farmers are wanted to help establish a hemp industry here in the Territory.
A couple of farmers are already keen to take up licences to grow it, but more are needed to establish the industry.
NT Farmers are looking to work with interested farmers and investors in establishing the industry.
"This sector has the potential to facilitate investment and job opportunities in regional areas and capitalise on emerging domestic and international market opportunities," NT Farmers plant industry development officer Andrew Philip said.
The drive to establish a hemp industry in the NT comes on the back of a push to establish a cotton industry as well.
Industrial hemp enthusiasts believe irrigated crops in the Top End can produce two harvests a season.
Hemp grain is currently returning a farm-gate price of about $3000 per tonne.
Industrial hemp is cultivated for seed and fibre production and has many uses including in the manufacture of textiles, rope and paper and it is also a highly nutritious food source, and can be used to in products such as soap, lotion and shampoo.
"We have been working directly with researchers and commercial industry players to develop the Territory's competitive advantage in the emerging industrial hemp market in Australia," Mr Philip said.
"With good levels of irrigation and crop management there is the ability to plant two crops each dry season increases the potential return to farmers."
Mr Philip said there is a great initial opportunity to produce viable seed via irrigated dry season crops and supplying it to the rest of Australia for summer planting.
"This emerging industry represents great potential in regional areas due to the nature and scale of the crop with the Territory well placed to provide a pre-summer supply of seed to southern domestic markets and supply chains.
"We currently have one or two farmers looking to take up licences to grow hemp, but we really need more growers and investment if we are going to develop an industry," he said.
"There is support from the NT Department of Primary Industry and Resources to invest into research, but we need commercial and community support.
"We need to get crops in the ground and understand the varieties that will work here and the pest management that will required," Mr Philip said.
Mr Philip said NT Farmers has worked with the government in the development of the Hemp Regulation and are now keen to work with interested producers to make this new opportunity a reality.
"Hemp will prove an excellent crop in the northern Australia setting and will diversify opportunities for broad-acre cropping. "
NT Farmers has recently become a founding member of the Australia Hemp Council, to connect the Territory producers to the best practices and opportunities emerging in Australia.
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