Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Crop trial shows industry potential in Central Australia

Primary Industry and Resources Minister Ken Vowles today visited a garlic harvest trial at the Arid Zone Research Institute in Central Australia.

Minister Vowles said there is a strong market for Australian garlic and this is a great opportunity to develop and grow the Territory horticultural industry.

“Garlic is a crop that can potentially overcome the cost associated with Central Australia’s remote location. The high value per unit volume of garlic outweighs the proportion of cost for transport to market.

“I’m committed to supporting this exciting venture,” said Minister Vowles.

The standard industry variety of garlic “Glen Large” is being trialled alongside seven other varieties.

Stuart Smith, Manager Central Australian Horticulture Development Project said the first successful harvested trial crop has reached a stage of maturity that would be ready for market.

“The garlic varieties planted are all new to the Territory – having never been grown here commercially before.

“The Alice Springs environment will demonstrate how the different varieties respond to both extreme cold and extreme heat.

“There is a grower 70 km south of Alice Springs at Orange Creek Station conducting a commercial garlic trial this year and we hope to be able to add value to what is learnt there.

“There is a shortage of Australian grown garlic and there is a market for it in the bigger cities like Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

“This is an exciting time for industry and we are proud to be able to provide this research,” said Mr Smith.

The Northern Territory Government takes biosecurity extremely seriously and is ensuring this trial meets all regulations.

Central Australia is isolated from other Australian production areas and is clean of pests and diseases common to garlic and other related species like onions, and could potentially produce garlic when supply is scarce in the rest of Australia.

 

Media contact: Sheena Dunne 0406 696 680