The Northern Territory and Japanese governments signed a Memorandum of Cooperation which will maximise the access of Territory agribusinesses to the Japanese market.
The historic agreement, involving the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, will promote and progress research and development projects in agriculture and aquaculture in the Northern Territory while also developing supply-chain logistics into the Japanese and South-East Asian markets.
NT Primary Industry and Resources Minister, Ken Vowles said the memorandum would identify agriculture and aquaculture projects involving mutually beneficial trade and investment opportunities such as soybean and barramundi projects.
“In addition to opening doors for Territory businesses in Japan, the memorandum could ultimately see agri-business projects coming on line in the Territory,” Mr Vowles said.
“The likely first steps along this road are expected to be pilot projects.
“The Northern Territory is paving the way in North Australian development with the signing of this significant milestone agreement which has the potential to drive our economy, provide local jobs and push infrastructure opportunities.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for the Territory to target efforts to attract investment and develop new markets.
“It is also an exciting opportunity to develop a Japan-Northern Territory agribusiness infrastructure road map, including supply chain logistics.
“The Northern Territory Government understands the significant agribusiness development potential presented by growing Asian markets and this agreement comes at an exciting time,” Mr Vowles said.
“The expansion of the Humpty Doo Barramundi Farm is an excellent example of the growing potential of the Territory aquaculture industry.
“The expansion will double the production capacity of the farm in 2017 increasing export market potential with a specific aim for South-East Asia.”
Humpty Doo Barramundi Farm General Manager Dan Richards said it is great to see the NT Government taking action to support the development of farming in the NT. Hopefully this agreement will provide enduring benefits to the people of the Northern Territory.
“It is fantastic to see the international recognition of the outstanding quality of our barramundi and would love to see our premier NT barramundi making its way into emerging Asian markets,” Mr Richards said.
NT Farmers Chief Executive Officer Shenal Basnayake said the potential for Northern Territory farmers to work with Japanese interests to identify specific plant based commodities and markets is an exciting step in the right direction.
“I look forward to working collaboratively with both the Japanese and Northern Territory Governments on planned initiatives,” Mr Basnayake said.
“This has come to fruition through successful collaboration with industry stakeholders, strong support from Austrade and hard work from government representatives both in the Territory and Japan.” Mr Vowles said.