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Newsletter: NT Report

By Han Shiing Siah, 2015 Scholar

August 2017

First of all, let me introduce myself; I am Han Shiong Siah, a 2015 Nuffield Scholar from Lambells Lagoon, situated 60km South East of Darwin in the Northern Territory (NT). I am a Tropical Fruit Horticulturist growing mangoes, durian, jackfruit and pomelo on my family owned farm. I have recently taken on this role of NT Chair from Jonathan Shaw (2005 Scholar) who has gracefully handed me this position.

I would like thank Jon Shaw for his tireless effort in support of our small but ‘Territory Harden’ group of Northern Territory Scholars. He was there on my selection panel, all the way through to the completion of my report. I am so thankful for his support and I wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

(Below) Jono Shaw receiving Certificate of Appreciation from NT Farmers in 2017.

Mango Season has started in the Territory with a lower than expected crop, which would improve return for the grower. Melon and other dry season crops, such as Asian vegetable are in full swing supplying fruit and vegetable to cold southern states. This year has been a year of records. We had the warmest July on record, with above temperature in most of the NT. This meant some growing regions were effected, with not having enough cold days for flower induction in mangoes. Where there was warmth, the Asian green vegetables grew faster. After coming out of a poor wet season in 2015-2016, The wet season in 2016-2017 was the 3rd wettest on records. Therefore, cattle this year have been able to fatten up which drove the export price to over $3.00 a kilogram.

As you all know, Darwin is holding its’ first National Nuffield Conference. This is the best time to visit the NT, with so much development in agriculture, mineral and tourism. Once known for the great unknown, now NT is turning into a modern metropolis (and no, we do not still live in a tree).

The team at Nuffield Australia and Nuffield NT have put together an unforgettable NT Conference that can’t be missed! We have great speakers, warm and hospitable climate and culture, a great nightlife and to end it all with an unforgettable sunset farewell at Mindil Beach Markets. For those of you who are staying on after the Conference, you will be touring around visiting farmers and their farms showing successfully grown and/or bred agricultural products, which 30 years ago no one dared to do commercially. Furthermore, you might get to see good ole Brutus the crocodile.

(Above): Ashley Severin (1986 Scholar), Jodie Dean (CEO of Nuffield Australia) and Han Shiong Siah at Mindil Beach.

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