Mango picking heating up

As a Territorian, nothing says Christmas to me more than a tropical Wet Season storm and a delicious frozen mango daquiri. Territory mangoes are the best (sorry Qld). As temperatures in the Top End heat up, so does the demand for mango pickers. No pickers means no mangoes.

The Mango industry is the NT’s largest horticultural product and worth around A$112 million each year to the NT economy. The NT is the biggest mango producer in Australia with numbers last year showing NT grew just over half of the national crop. Like any fruit harvesting, mango picking involves intense activity during a short window of opportunity. I’m not going to lie, the best time to pick mangoes is Top End build up (September, October, November, also known by the Jawoyn people as the season of Juugalk). The heat and humidity is unrelenting.

There are some 500 fruit picker jobs already advertised and NT Farmers and NT Mango Industry Association estimate the NT needs over 2,000 people to pick this season’s crop. Mangoes need careful and skilful handling to make sure the fruit is not damaged. Damaged fruit does not attract premium prices. Pickers need to select fruit that is mature and ready for harvest. Did you know mangoes have beaks and noses and these indicate when the fruit is mature?

COVID-19 has body-slammed all of us – education, holidays, health and of course, jobs. The Mango Industry needs our help. Yes, it is hard work, and if you are up for an outdoor adventure in the Top End – waterfalls, tropical storms, amazing outback scenery, on the doorstep of jaw-droppingly gorgeous national parks or you and your friends just need a job, why not give mango picking a go?

Watch a 10 minute training video from the Australian Mango Industry to learn about picking and handling mangoes.

For more information about mango picking jobs available in the NT, please contact NT Farmers.

To report hard to fill jobs or new skills needed for jobs in the NT, please contact ISACNT.