Article – Markets and economics focus for northern development

10 October 2013
Matt Brann
ABC Rural
A retired Northern Territory mango grower believes any northern agricultural development ideas must revolve around market access and the economics of the individual project.
An Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences conference was held in Darwin today, with a focus on the National Food Plan and a ‘What Asia Wants’ report.
Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce attended the forum along with many other representatives of key industries with an interest in northern Australia.
Long-term mango industry advocate, Ian Baker, who also spoke at the conference, says the focus should be on what food crops can be grown, where they can be sold and for how much.
“Fundamentally, it’s about getting the markets and economics right.
“In horticulture it’s easy because we identify market windows. But with big commodities like sugar, soya beans, rice and peanuts, there isn’t a window,” he said.
“You’ve actually got to be at world-competitive prices and that’s a big, big hoop to jump.
“There are lots of markets but the only markets that are any good are those that pay a price that I can make a profit at.”
You can listen to the entire program here.
Courtesy of the ABC