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

Julian Gorman, Anthony B Cunningham, S Wei, D Marcsik, M Hoult

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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. This paper will present the findings of these reviews in the monsoonal tropics of the Northern Territory. This objective was achieved 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. Our initial 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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)421-427
    Number of pages8
    JournalActa Horticulturae
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


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