Factors Influencing the Growth Potential of the Floriculture Industry in the Monsoonal Tropics of the Northern Territory, Australia

Factors Influencing the Growth Potential of the Floriculture Industry in the Monsoonal Tropics of the Northern Territory, Australia

Fri, 05/09/2014 - 10:00 to 11:00

About the Presenter

Julian Gorman

Julian has been employed at CDU since 1999 and is involved in both teaching and research. He co-ordinates the third year unit SID 300 Professional Placement in Science and the Masters unit ENV 402 Conservation and Business: Natural resource-based enterprise and local livelihoods. His research relates to wildlife based enterprise development to improve Indigenous livelihoods. Between 2007 and July 2013, Julian was seconded to the Northern Land Council for 3 days a week as a Wildlife Enterprise Development Facilitator. He worked with a number of Indigenous Ranger groups to help them set up small enterprises based on consumptive and non-consumptive use of wildlife - this includes domestication of native bees, harvest and value adding of bush tucker, crocodile egg harvesting, and others. Julian was also working specifically with Indigenous Land Corporation funded Ranger groups towards becoming economically self-sustainable. A different model to land management involving contracts for Fee for Service work was being investigated and applied.  Land management could become more of a business in its own right into the future and provide Indigenous people with greater livelihood opportunities and an ability to remain living on their country.


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Floriculture has been proposed as an ideal basis for sustainable enterprise development for resource-poor communities in the Pacific Islands, Papua New Guinea and northern Australia. World trade in floricultural products continues to increase in some countries and there are recognised market opportunities for floriculture based on the rich plant biodiversity of the Pacific and Australian region.

The Australian Centre for International Research (ACIAR) has funded two reviews to highlight specific floricultural opportunities and identify constraints and opportunities in the use of native floriculture to improve the livelihoods of Indigenous communities in Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. These reviews were conducted through interviews with a variety of stakeholder groups involved in floriculture, a desk top analysis of the factors influencing Indigenous participation and a case study investigating the value chains of cycad fronds. The results indicate that low population density, low consumer demand and competition from imports all limit local and regional market demand for floricultural products. Remoteness and consequent high transport costs also adversely impacts market competitiveness. Indigenous participation in this industry is further compromised by a complex array of cultural, logistical and social factors that not only limit their involvement in conventional floriculture, but also influence the economic feasibility of wild harvested products. Despite these obstacles, some growers of exotic tropical species in northern Australia have managed to compete in southern Australian markets.

This paper will outline the factors that influence participation and growth in the floriculture industry in the Northern Territory and will suggest research and development opportunities to improve the growth of this industry.

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