Agriculture, the industry that has so much to offer

The agriculture industry in the Northern Territory (NT), like elsewhere in the world, is the main source of food for both human and animal consumption. The sector (excluding forestry and aquaculture) contributed over $730 million to the NT’s Gross State Product and served as a source of livelihood for approximately 1.6% of the Territory workforce in 2019. Nevertheless, the industry has faced numerous challenges, including workforce and environmental. Many studies have been undertaken at the national level to understand the sector’s problems better and explore potential solutions.

In the NT, in-depth studies exploring the workforce characteristics, training gaps and skill requirements of the horticulture, livestock and mixed farming sub-industries are lacking. As a result, ISACNT undertook a series of engagements with peak bodies and businesses to collect occupational intelligence and challenges. Findings from the study revealed ongoing workforce shortages in traditional (for example, farmworkers and farmers) and non-traditional (cooks, electrician and diesel mechanics) agriculture occupations. The study results demonstrated that NT businesses adopt existing workforce initiatives and employ innovative techniques to address the challenges. This ongoing development, together with automation, has led to an excellent opportunity to train and further upskill the current and future workforce to ensure the industry stays current and remains adaptable to the ongoing changing environment.

Please click here to read the detailed findings of ISACNT’s agriculture industry workforce study.