Growing the north - market opportunities for irrigated agricultural produce from northern Western Australia

Page last updated: Monday, 3 October 2016 - 9:20am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Growing demand for safe, high quality food in Asia and the Middle East is creating a unique opportunity for the agricultural sector in the north.

The Department of Agriculture and Food, WA (DAFWA) commissioned Growing the north – market opportunities for irrigated agricultural produce from Northern Western Australia to identify high-potential products, at the intersection of what markets are demanding and what the north can produce.

Growing the north takes a market-led approach to understand what products our key target markets want and can be competitively produced in the north of Western Australia.

DAFWA commissioned Growing the north – market opportunities for irrigated agricultural produce from northern Western Australia to identify potential products which suit northern production conditions and export market demands.

Eighteen potential products were identified as opportunities for irrigated agriculture in northern WA ranging from walnuts and lucerne hay to cotton and sorghum. Tobacco was one of the potential crops identified. 

DAFWA has no plans to assist or encourage industry to establish tobacco production in Western Australia.

The discussion document by a consultancy took a preliminary assessment of potential market opportunities for irrigated agricultural produce in northern Western Australia.

The document is publicly available and to maintain transparency, no crops were removed from the study. The complete report, as provided by the consultants, was published in its entirety without alternation.

The discussion document identified challenges for establishment of tobacco production. Such as in Australia, tobacco requires an excise licence. There are no current licences. Strict rules and conditions apply if granted a licence to grow tobacco.

This document is about stimulating thinking and discussion. The next step is to assess the commercial viability of potential crops in the context of our northern environment.

Growing the north targets the strategic market research gap between work that businesses routinely perform themselves and country-level commodity data provided by national statistics agencies.

It identifies agricultural products grown using irrigation in countries regarded as “climatic peers” to northern WA, connecting these with significant demand in growth-markets and countries.

This information will assist businesses, industry and potential investors identify market opportunities for irrigated agricultural produce from northern WA.

Check out the full report and summary flyer available on the right hand side of this page. 


Contact information

Vicki Mcallister
+61 (0)8 9368 3437


Verity White