Mango farmers in the Katherine region are about to receive some much needed help for the picking season, with more than 150 seasonal workers arriving in the NT from Vanuatu yesterday.
The planeload of 161 workers will spend two weeks in the Howard Springs quarantine facility before arriving on farms across the Territory, including the Katherine region, from September 14.
Another planeload of 221 workers is set to arrive from Samoa in around two weeks.
NT Farmers CEO Paul Burke said the arrival of seasonal workers comes as a huge relief for farmers.
"Not all farms can access seasonal workers. For those that can, it's one [a reaction] of relief that they've got a skilled willing workforce about to hit their doorstop," he said.
"It also takes pressure off the available workforce for those who can't access seasonal workers so it;s good for all farmers."
He said without a seasonal workforce, farmers would struggle to get through the season.
"Fruit would be hitting the ground, they wouldn't be able to pick the volume of fruit out there."
"It would have been dire for farmers."
Negotiations have been ongoing for months between the NT Government and NT Farmers around securing a pathway for seasonal workers to come to the NT.
Mr Burke said that the NT taking over the operation of the Howard Springs facility in May made it possible for workers to quarantine there.
"We were initially struggling to find a suitable quarantine facility because Howard Springs was run by the federal government and it was for the use of repatriated Australians," he said.
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